Gozitan MEP candidate Josianne Cutajar last night urged critics of the proposed tunnel between Malta and Gozo to put themselves in the shoes of a Gozitan resident who has to commute on the ferry everyday.
“Some people enjoy seeing Gozo kind of stuck in a time capsule, but Gozo cannot remain a Christmas crib (presepju),” Cutajar, who is running for the Labour Party, said at a campaign rally in Xlendi.
“The tunnel will lead to a better quality of life for those of us who frequently travel to Malta, for those parents who end up separated from their children because they would have no other option but to move to Malta due to their job or studies, for those who rent at sky-high prices in Malta simply so that they can live close to their workplace, for those who wake up at dawn everyday just to arrive to work on time, for those who are forced to slam their foot on the gas pedal so as not to miss the ferry when heading to work or when returning to their family.”
Visibly emotional, Cutajar recounted how she had to move to Malta when she was 17 so that she could read for a university degree.
“I had to share a room and a house with other people because I couldn’t afford to do otherwise,” she said. “It was tough for me, and I had to grow up quickly and face certain realities.”
The young MEP candidate and Nadur councillor played down environmental concerns that a permanent link between Malta and Gozo will open the floodgates for rampant development in Gozo.
“I don’t want to see Gozo all built up, and I enjoy the fact that countryside still separates our towns and villages from each other,” she said. “However, I don’t believe the tunnel will necessarily precede environmental destruction. What are we scared of? Us Gozitans are renowned for not putting the cart before the horse and for planning properly and I am confident that this project will not erode Gozo, but rather help it progress, so long as the work is carried out properly and so long as we strive for balance.”