Maltese activist Wayne Flask penned an open letter to Environment Minister Dalli hailing action taken by ‘extremists’ in their clearing of sunbeds illegally occupying public beach space in Comino.
The ‘extremist’ reference followed a tense exchange with Moviment Graffitti activist Andre Callus and Dalli last Thursday. At the time, Dalli said that “extremism gets you nowhere” amid discussions about the state of Malta’s environment.
Flask posted a photo of the Blue Lagoon in Comino after it had been cleared of sunbeds and umbrellas illegally occupying public space. Action came by way of a protest that saw 50 activists physically clear the beach.
The action had long been on the cards, as private vendors persisted with their imposition of deckchairs and umbrellas taking up all of the space of the bay.
“In the absence of enthusiasm and energy from five ministries, including yours, in order to reverse this theft from the public, it had to be ‘extremists’ to intervene and do what the authorities are supposed to do.”
“That which you called ‘extremism’ is in fact a principle that has been forgotten by three-quarters of you in Parliament,” he added, following with a direct invitation to switch roles for a week.
“After trying to be an activist for a week, come back with a list of cases of excessive development, theft of public land, illegalities, speculations (about all sorts of things), and tell us if we’re making blanket statements or not. And you can keep your salary. We do our work for free.”
“The €700m injection towards public spaces will not bring back the damage that took place over the last decades, and they will not balance out the €500m that will be spent on more developments and infrastructure.”
In his post, Flask pointed out that amid gaps in a sustainable balance between the environment and infrastructure, NGOs remain ‘the only front’ defending Malta’s threatened environment.
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