A photo of a construction site in Qawra has stirred anger among Maltese people as the island tries to come to grips with the absolutely avoidable death of Miriam Pace.
In a photo which was taken last month but only went viral this morning, a new building’s walls totally cover multiple storeys of balconies, turning what must have once been a view of the sea into a view of… well, grey concrete.
The building is built so near to the balconies, in fact, that the occupants could literally reach out and touch their new neighbours’ home.
However, to make things even better, the first building is also riddled with illegalities, with everything from an outdoor flushing cistern to no safety rails on the lower block, placing the newer building in the right legally.
The image struck a chord with people, with people complaining about both buildings and generally finding the entire image emblematic of what is going wrong in Malta’s construction industry.
“You think these guys are greedy?” said an occupant of the older building.
“One second you’ve got a view of the sea, the next someone stops caring and builds right in front of you and chokes you.”
“How can it be?” one person asked. “Money talks, ħabib” was the reply.
Malta’s construction industry has been put under the spotlight once again following the shocking death of 54-year-old Maltese mother of two Miriam Pace, who was pronounced dead last night after an eight-hour long search under the rubble of her collapsed home.
Two protests have since been called, people have been arrested and several platitudes have been said – but the fact remains that Malta’s construction industry has gotten out of hands, and has been for a while.
Four buildings have collapsed in the last 12 months alone – and those are just the ones we know about.
While Miriam may have been the first occupant to die inside her home as it suddenly collapsed around her due to reckless construction workers working in a nearby plot, she is far from the first person in recent months to die from the construction industry, with regular falls and injuries on construction sites leading to untimely deaths – usually of young, foreign workers.