Fortina Group has been granted permission by Parliament to use a very valuable tract of land in Sliema to build apartments and offices instead of just touristic purposes, as stipulated in its original contract.
The Opposition voted against the move and accused the Government of becoming a “banker for the rich” and of undervaluing public land.
The company will pay just €8.1 million for the change of use. Fortina Group argues that this is far higher than market value, while the Nationalist Party says it is tantamount to the land being given away for peanuts.
“A touristic zone should not be given away for speculation,” the Nationalist Party said, adding that this project created a dangerous precedent.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party said the Opposition had understood absolutely nothing about what was discussed in Parliament, arguing that this was not the transfer of public land but the changing of conditions on land that for a long time now had been owned by the private sector.
This was the last act of Parliament before it rose for summer recess.