A Valletta resident is going viral after publishing a video harshly criticising a large metal platform that a major business group recently erected in Merchants Street.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever made a clear statement against a particular businessman or a project that only served to harm the city and its residents who are suffering the consequences of the tyranny of the rich,” the resident, known as Il-Boat, said in a message to the Valletta local council.
“That’s how Malta has become. If your pockets are full, you can do as you please, beyond the laws and aims of progress. Progress should be for everyone, not progress for a business but a huge step backwards for the residents.”
Challenging the local council and mayor Alfred Zammit to go “all out” against the project, even if ruffles a few feathers at the top, il-Boat said he intends to organise a peaceful demonstration against the new structure.
“Residents and other people who love Valletta will be able to make their voices heard,” he said. “Maybe the puppeteers will hear our voices.”
The Merchants Street platform, located right outside the Rosselli Hotel, is intended for chairs, tables, umbrellas and street furniture.
AX Holdings, the hotel’s owners who obtained a permit for the platform, have insisted it will complement Malta’s and Valletta’s strategy to obtain the tourism product.
However, it has been heavily criticised by several people, including PN MP Claudio Grech, who warned Valletta has become a playground for those looking to make money while residents are being robbed of public spaces.
Since Il-Boat published his video, the Valletta local council issued a statement condemning the platform and urging the Planning Authority to revoke the permit.
“This platform doesn’t belong there and shouldn’t have been placed there; Valletta’s historical and cultural aspects should be safeguarded,” the council said.
“The local council wouldn’t have objected to the placing of a reasonable number of tables and chairs, but this bulky structure disrespects the aesthetics and the practicality of Valletta residents who frequent these areas.”
“The council would have immediately and strongly objected to it had it been notified and we urge the PA to revoke the permit.”
Do you think this platform should be removed?