A poignant reaction to the sad news that an elderly man who created a makeshift niche and garden in Għargħur was ordered by authorities to dismantle it has gone majorly viral.
The post, written by Ruben Overend on Facebook, sees a breakdown of the situation and circumstances revolving around the elderly man, Ronnie, and the Planning Authority.
Explaining that Ronnie used his own money to fix up the dilapidated zone in Top of the World, Għargħur, Overend offered some reasons as to why the PA was coming down so hard on the man when there were so many other environmental abuses going on throughout the Maltese islands.
“It’s because Ronnie used soil instead of cement; it’s because Ronnie grew flowers, not a block of flats.”
The powerful post goes further, saying authorities targeted the elderly man because he wasn’t a contractor, had placed the interests of his community ahead of his own and had not hidden his money in a secret offshore account, in reference to recent political scandals.
Overend took aim at the PA, saying it was a “weak” authority that acted strong with the vulnerable, and who had now turned Ronnie into a “sacrificial lamb” with their threat to fine him €50,000 if he didn’t remove his work.
Posted to Facebook this morning, the message received over 3,000 reactions and 2,400 shares.
“Shame on whoever is making these decisions,” said one person.
“Xejn sew!” said another. “A place like that where the public can visit and appreciate. But no, we have to destroy it, just like we destroyed this country.”
The Planning Authority posted about their reasoning behind the orders, saying that parts of it, such as the niche, would be left untouched.
Cover photo left: Alexandra Schaerrer-Cumming
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