Armier cowboys should not be rewarded

The unauthorised campers at Marsaxlokk were in the news during the last weekend not just  for their illegal camping but more for the violence they used.

It seems that the lack of action of government in respect of the Armier (and other) illegal boathouses has conveyed the message that at the end of the day they may strike a deal! Their vote for public land.

We have been through this before. That is in fact what’s on the books at Armier even though government has been very slow to implement what it has agreed to.

Agreements were entered into with the squatters at Armier  represented through their company Armier Developments Limited. Officially government is awaiting the approval of the Marfa Action Plan which was issued by MEPA for public consultation in 2002. It is government which will eventually approve the Marfa Action Plan after “careful consideration” of MEPA’s recommendations.

The Marfa Action Plan is the result of a detailed exercise through which the various activities in the l-Aħrax peninsula  were identified.

Through  the Marfa Action Plan, still in draft form , the authorities seek to compromise with the squatters by identifying five areas where they can construct alternatives to their present illegal boathouses.

Alternattiva Demokratika is opposed to arriving at any form of agreement with the squatters. They should be evicted the soonest.

The area should be rehabilitated with its cultural and natural features conserved. All boathouses illegally constructed, both pre and post 1992 should be demolished forthwith.

In its reactions to the draft Marfa Action Plan way back in 2002 Alternattiva Demokratika-The Green Party had stated that :

“The establishment of footpaths, picnic areas, proper camping sites coupled with a conservation of historical buildings and the prevention of further devastation of garigue areas through the dumping of rubble are all valuable features of the plan. AD is concerned about the effectivity of the administrative structures which will oversee the operation and maintenance of the proposed investment in such matters as the cleaning of picnic areas and the control of campsites. Enforcement structures from MEPA would be welcome”.

As no part of the island is more than 20 minutes away from the coast AD considers that the MEPA proposal for the construction of beach rooms is an unnecessary development which will only serve to reward squatters and undermine the rule of law.

Cowboys should be punished not rewarded.

My conclusion is identical to that of Dr Harry Vassallo former AD Chairman in 2002 who commenting on the Marfa Action Plan had stated: “When one considers the lack of accessible coastland and the uncontrollable sprawl of development, one realises that there can be no room for compromise in the defence of what we have left. The quality of life of the entire population should be given a priority over the privileges of boat house residents”.

Original of this post was published on Friday 17 August 2012 at

On the same subject in this blog you may view:  Parties in Cahoots with Squatters

9 comments on “Armier cowboys should not be rewarded

  1. In theory this piece is unassilable. In reality it brushes aside the fact that this country is still rather primitive in its ways even if we refuse to admit it. What bothers me about this piece is the derogatory use of the word “cowboy”. The “cowboy” here seems to have been depicted as generally being a bully or a common criminal. This is a very wrong impression. I have had the privilege of interacting with true and proper cowboys. They are generally genuine, respectful and law abiding people who are only interested in minding their own business in tending to their cattle. From my experience with cowboys, it seems to me that this article does them a grave injustice.

      • Thanks….but please allow me just one other little comment. There is only one cowboy; and that’s the real one. If one is not a “real” cowboy then is is simply NOT a cowboy and, in the case of your article, deserves to be called something else like, say, a bully; or a land snatcher; or perhaps a heavy fisted negotiator (my vote for public land) or whatever but not a cowboy:-)

      • Unfortunately for the real cowboys, the term cowbody has come to signify a bully.

        Just as when we say that this is “Mickey Mouse land” (pajjiz tal-Mickey Mouse) we are being offensive towards Walt Disney and his creations!

      • Yes, I appreciate but the more we use the word in such context, the more we we keep on corrupting the true meaning of the word 🙂

      • My dear Stefan: it is not “corruption” of the “true meaning”. Language, as you very well know is a living tool. Meanings are not only assigned by those who coin the words. Society has a very definite role. Now in common parlance “cowboy” means a bully. Everyone understands this meaning and very few go to its original meaning.

        This is just one word of many which has “lost” its original meaning and acquired a new one!

      • Well yes my dear Carm but it still remains a corruption of the true meaning of the word because equating a bully to a cowboy is plainly derogatory and offensive. And by the way, thank you for classifying me with the “very few”. It is so comforting and inspiring to find myself in the minority. To me, being in the minority means that, most probably, I am right!:-)

  2. Hallo Carmel.You are absolutily 100% correct.Other people buy a small abode.They want it for free which is not right.

    Kind Regards,


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