Excavation works are being carried out in Buġibba square to erect a tower crane… just as the tourism season kicks off and in the midst of a nationwide ban of demolition and excavation works announced by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat last weekend.
The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) has launched scathing criticism against the government over the continuing excavation and construction right within tourism areas.
This comes after tourists within Buġibba Square were able to see firsthand Malta’s national bird the crane and its national song the jigger in full action.
“This situation has now reached intolerable levels and is seriously damaging the tourism sector, which is an extremely important economic sector, and thus affecting also the quality of life of the Maltese residents,” the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) Tony Zahra said in a statement.
Beyond the temporary ban ignited by the government, excavation and demolition works are not even allowed to be carried out between 15th June and 30th September within tourism areas.
“The MHRA is receiving calls by concerned members daily about the critical state of the Environment. A particular case in point is the works blatantly carried out yesterday in Buġibba square in front of HSBC in the process of erecting a concrete platform for a tower crane.
“We are quickly becoming a destination specializing in a construction site experience for tourists visiting us, and if the implications of such a serious situation are not understood by the competent Authorities, then we will soon be heading into some serious problems which would be very difficult and expensive to address and reverse,” Zahra continued.
The MHRA did note that the efforts being spearheaded by the government to improve tourism areas should be appreciated, but believe that these initiatives are being undermined by the works, “which are being irresponsibly, and at most times illegally, carried out.”
The MHRA’s statement comes five days after Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced a ban on excavation and demolition works following the third building collapse in under two months.
Later today, Moviment Graffitti and other activist groups will be holding a protest against “the developers’ dictatorship” in the country. The rally, which is calling for wholesale reform in the sector, comes just a few days after a third apartment block collapsed in under two months.