Moviment Graffitti has threatened direct action should public access to Fomm ir-Riħ bay be restricted once again.
“The fact that the land is private and the government is negotiating with the land’s owner, Sandro Chetcuti, means nothing for us. One fundamental principle exists: no one can restrict access to the coast.”
“If access is restricted illegally once again, we are ready to kick off direct action, as we had done with Manoel Island,” Moviment Graffitti wrote on social media.
Controversy erupted this week after activists raised the alarm that gate was erected to block a path to Fomm ir-Riħ bay. The gate was put there by Chetcuti for “safety reasons”. It has since been removed pending a formal Planning Authority application.
Chetcuti is the chairman of the Malta Developers’ Association.
Fomm ir-Riħ has been somewhat dangerous to visitors following a clay slop collapse in August 2020, which effectively covered a significant part of the bay. The area beneath the slopes has long been part of a private estate that includes a villa.
A ministry spokesperson said that the government is working to enter an arrangement with the owner to “eventually give the public adequate access to the foreshore while respecting the right to private property”.
In 2016, activists cut through gates erected by MIDI on Manoel Island to gain access to the foreshore.
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