Fl-Armier la tisraqx l-elettriku, imma dwar l-art “jirranġawlek”

armier smart metres


Tajjeb għamlet il-Korporazzjoni Enemalta li ser tistalla smart meters fejn diġa’ hemm provista tal-elettriku fil-boathouses tal-Armier mibnija b’mod illegali. Il-Korporazzjoni Enemalta qed tagħti messaġġ qawwi lil kulħadd. Kemm li dawk li qed jużaw il-boathouses imma iktar u iktar lill-Gvern.

Il-Korporazzjoni Enemalta qed tgħid li mhux ser tittollera s-serq tal-elettriku. La tisraqx l-elettriku għax “bl-ismart meter ser naqbduk”, qed tgħid il-Korporazzjoni Enemalta.

Imma l-Gvern, kemm dak tal-lum immexxi minn Joseph Muscat (kif ukoll dawk tal-bieraħ immexxija minn Lawrence Gonzi u Eddie Fenech Adami) qed jagħti messaġġ differenti. Messaġġ imsaħħah b’diversi ftehim bejn l-Assoċjazzjoni tal-Boathouses tal-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa  u l-partiti l-kbar (jiġifieri l-Partit Nazzjonalista u l-Partit Laburista). Il-Gvern jgħinek billi jagħlaq għajnejh għas-serq ta’ art pubblika.

Mela : tisraqx l-elettriku, imma jekk trid tisraq l-art fl-Armier il-Gvern lest li jgħinek. Jekk sraqt l-art, qed jgħidlek, nirranġaw.


Jekk trid taqra iktar dwar dan is-suġġett f’dan il-blog aqra is-segwenti:

24 ta’ Ġunju 2008 : Il-Boathouses tal-Armier.

21 ta’ Jannar 2012: Parties in cahoots with squatters.

17 t’Awwissu 2012 :  Armier cowboys should not be rewarded.

23 t’Ottubru 2012: Pajjiż tal-cowboys: israq u tkun ippremjat.

24 t’Ottubru 2012: Il-boathouses tal-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa: meta l-Ministru riedhom jaqgħu.

8 ta’ Jannar 2013 : Malta tagħna lkoll.

2 ta’ Frar 2013 : Armier illegalities and amnesties.

29 ta’ Ġunju 2013 : Is-skiet tal-PN dwar l-Armier.

Is-skiet tal-PN dwar l-Armier

Armier shanty town

Wara d-deċiżjoni tal-Imħallef Ellul fuq l-abbużi fl-Armier il-PN għadu sieket.

Tajjeb li nfakkru li l-abbużi tollerati minn Gvern immexxi mill-PN m’humiex biss dawk li jitkellem fuqhom l-imħallef Ellul fis-sentenza tiegħu. Hemm ħafna iżjed.

L-ex Ministru Falzon kien spjega f’artiklu miktub minnu fil-Malta Today li hu kien resssaq proposta għat-twaqqiegħ tal-bini illegali fl-Armier iżda l-Kabinett ma appoġġaħx.

Sadanittant il-PN jibqa’ sieket, konxju li hu responsabbli għall-istat attwali tal-irregolaritajiet fl-Armier.

L-inqas li nistennew hi apoloġija. Minflok għandna skiet li jtarrax. Il-politika ġdida ta’ Simon Busuttil.

Fuq dan il-blog, dwar l-istess suġġett,  ara ukoll dawn il-posts :

24 ta’ Ġunju 2008 : Il-boathouses fl-Armier.

21 ta’ Jannar 2012 : Parties in Cahoots with squatters.

17 t’Awwissu 2012 : Armier cowboys should not be rewarded.

23 t’Ottubru 2012 : Pajjiż tal-cowboys : israq u tkun ippremjat.

24 t’Ottubru 2012: Il-boathouses tal-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa : meta l-Ministru riedhom jaqgħu

2 ta’ Frar 2013 : Armier illegalities and amnesties.

Il-boathouses tal-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa : meta l-Ministru riedhom jaqgħu’


 Michael Falzon.PN2

Fil-bidu tas-snin 90, Michael Falzon, dakinnhar Ministru responsabli għall-Awtorita’ tal-Ippjanar kien wasal għall-konklużjoni li l-boathouses tal-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa kellhom jiġu mwaqqa’. M’huwiex magħruf kif wasal għal din il-konklużjoni. Jekk hux minn rajh inkella fuq parir ta’ terzi.

Jibqa’ l-fatt li kien wasal għal din il-konklużjoni. Mar il-Kabinett. Iżda ma qabel miegħu ħadd. Il-Kabinett irrifjuta li japprova l-proposta tal-Ministru Michael Falzon.

Għal madwar 19-il sena Michael Falzon baqa’ sieket sakemm iddeċieda li jinfurmana x’ġara permezz ta’ artiklu fil-Malta Today nhar il-Ħadd 15 ta’ Frar 2009.

L-artiklu intitolat They never heard of Jason Azzopardi! Hu dan :



They never heard of Jason Azzopardi!

While on a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip in Indochina and thereabouts, Parliamentary Secretary Jason Azzopardi keeps, incredibly, coming up to my mind!
Seeing the hustle and the bustle of the thousands of people in Bangkok and Hanoi who do everything ‘al fresco’ on the city pavements, I can only conclude that they have never heard of the guy.

In these parts of the world, people not only place tables on the pavements when they have a shop nearby. They even set up their stand-alone barber stalls; knife-sharpening workshops; grocery and hardware stores; and open air restaurants complete with kitchens leaving the streets and pavements stained with the cooking oil that goes to prepare so many hot snacks. The reek of oriental frying is unmistakeable.

I am sure that Jason would have not liked it one bit and had he been in charge, he would certainly order his army of ‘anti-alfresco’ reservists to swoop down on all this activity, checking whether everything is in order and whether the size of the stall, the number of pots, kilograms of all kinds of meats and all kinds of vegetables being sold – let alone the chairs and tables and the canopies – are all according to permit.

The mayor of Bangkok would make a killing if hires Jason to do this job for him. On the other hand he might not… seeing that he wants to be re-elected when the next election is due. The mayor of Hanoi would probably be in a similar position, except that elections might not bother him so much, and the task might be easier for him.

The trouble is that if they had to carry out a Jason Azzopardi-style exercise in Bangkok, it would not remain Bangkok. It would become a ‘Malta in Southeast Asia’!

All countries and peoples have their own ways of doing things – their traditions and their culture. I realised this so many years ago when on another trip I found myself outside the Stazione Termine in Rome and, as I always do in any European train station in winter, I decided to buy some freshly roasted chestnuts from the one of the portable stalls plying food outside the station. As soon as I made my wish clear, the Italian hawker, produced a paper bag that holds the number of chestnuts that he was to supply for the indicated price and then added another two – just out of ‘respect’ to his customers of course. The fact that more than two chestnuts were later found to be rotten did not reduce the munificence of the act in any way!
Later on in the same trip, I found myself outside Zurich train station. And what did I do? I went for that bag of freshly roasted chestnuts, of course! The Swiss hawker put the paper bag he produced on the certified scales that was on his stall and filled it with chestnuts. On perceiving that he had somewhat given me some fraction of a milligram more that I had bargained for, he simply removed a large chestnut from the bag and replaced it with a smaller one! I haven’t stopped hating Swiss precision since that traumatic incident.

Whether we like it or not, Bangkok culture, Swiss culture and Maltese culture are what they are. Forcing the Maltese to behave like the Swiss will never produce the desired results, whatever the ‘carrot and stick’ methods that are employed. We will always keep acting like the Mediterranean people that we are, even more akin to Neapolitans than to Romans. Membership of the EU has not metamorphosed the Swedes into Greeks or vice-versa. Not allowing some space for the culture that pervades the mentality of the Maltese people is a silly mistake on Jason’s part, albeit one that might have long term consequences.

Acting in a way that is obviously ‘strong with the weak’ and ‘weak with the strong’ makes it even worse. How can he justify his petty persecution of canopies on public pavements while he closes both eyes to the situation in the zone of Little Armier, where people have for years broken the law with impunity by using public land to build their summer shacks, with some making a business out of the whole shenanigan. I know what I am saying as when I tried to do something about it, I was left alone to burn my fingers alone, nay my palms, arms and body. The lack of support from my then Cabinet colleagues – let alone the then backbench – was overwhelming. I could almost hear them chant: ‘Burn, Michael, burn!’

Launching a ‘hotline’, whereby people may anonymously report others for ‘illegally occupying’ public spaces, is the very culmination in Jason’s stubborn insistence to ignore our culture. As a lawyer and an MP for so many years, he should have by now realised that people in Malta ‘report’ their neighbours of wrongdoing not because of some public spiritedness but because of spite and jealousy. It is a convenient way how one ‘gets even’ with one’s neighbour. ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’ is, perhaps, the Christian tenet that has failed most spectacularly in Malta Cattolicissima!

Jason’s report-thy-neighbour-anonymously system has probably been a runaway success. The problem is that Jason might be fooling himself by thinking that he is on a sure winner. He is in for a surprise.
A surprise so big that, I am sure, it will keep on haunting him for the rest of his life. At the last PN meeting before the general election last March, while moving around in the crowd, a middle-aged lady approached me and asked me whether I recognised her. My answer was negative. She then went on to ‘remind me’ that as Minister of Education, over 12 years earlier, I had refused to authorise leave with pay that her husband had requested. I probably had a good reason for doing so – a thought that I confirmed when I saw the look of disdain on her face. People might forget that you helped them but they never forget that you refused to do something they wanted – however correct your decision might have been.

This country refuses to be a humdrum place where everywhere runs by clockwork, whatever Jason Azzopardi says and does. Over 30 years of communist rule have not persuaded Saigon (sorry, Ho Chi Minh City) to behave like Hanoi. Five years of Jason Azzopardi will leave Malta exactly where it was.
It will never be a Switzerland in the Mediterranean!

Pajjiż tal-cowboys : israq u tkun ippremjat

Kemm il-Partit Nazzjonalista kif ukoll il-Labour iridu jagħtu premju lil min seraq art fl-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa biex fuqha għandu dik li tissejjaħ boathouse.

Fil-fatt dawk li għandhom boathouse fl-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa (fl-Armier, Little Armier u t-Torri l-Abjad) isejħu lilhom infushom is-sidien tal-boathouses, meta fil-fatt ma għandhom xejn li hu tagħhom għax l-art li fuqha huma mibnija l-boathouse hi tal-Gvern.

Ilhom snin twal jokkupaw din l-art u qiesu ma ġara xejn.

Aqraw ftit il-magazine Mill-Bajja li jippubblikaw dawn is-sidien tal-boathouses u issiru taf bi “ftehim” li għamlu mal-Gvern li jagħtihom l-art biex il-boathouses li għandhom illum ikunu jistgħu jibnuhom aħjar. Il-Gvern permezz ta’ ittra iffirmata mill-Viċi Prim Ministru Tonio Borg nhar it-3 t’April 2003 wiegħed lil dawn is-“sidien tal-boathouses” 230 tomna art (jiġifieri 26,000 metru kwadru) li għaliha jħallsu €366,000 fis-sena!

Il-Labour wegħdu li huma jirrispettaw dan il-ftehim.

Il-PN u l-Labour għamlu dan il-pajjiż wieħed tal-cowboys.  Qed jgħidu “aħtaf li tista’, u mbagħad b’xi mod nirranġaw” !

F’Alternattiva Demokratiku ma naqblux ma dan. Meħtieġ li l-iktar kmieni possibli li l-art ħdejn il-baħar ikun jista’ jgawwdiha kulħadd, u mhux dawk li ħatfuha f’idejhom bil-barka tal-PN u tal-Labour.

Min ma jridx jagħti premju lil min seraq l-art fl-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa għaldaqstant għandu biss għażla waħda x’jagħmel:  Alternattiva Demokratika.

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 di-ve.com.

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

Parties in cahoots with squatters

Earlier this month, the Malta Environment and Planning Authority’s environment and planning commission, which deals with applications outside the development zone, turned down an application by Enemalta Corporation for the construction of a substation at L-Aħrax in the limits of Mellieħa. The planning directorate itself had recommended the refusal of this application.

This substation aimed at reinforcing the supply of electricity in L-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa with Enemalta effectively posting the message that the crime of taking over public property does pay.

While Alternattiva Demokratika and seven environmental NGOs opposed this application, both the Labour Party and the Nationalist Party have not uttered one single word on Enemalta’s attempt at ensuring that the squatters are adequately supplied with electricity. Clearly, the PN and the PL think that being silent is essential in view of their commitments to purchase votes through squatters taking over public property.

The PL and the PN have not taken up the challenge spelt out by the greens to go public on their position relative to the illegal development of boathouses at L-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa, that is at Armier, Little Armier and It-Torri l-Abjad.

During the Mepa reform exercise, the Prime Minister repeatedly emphasised that “ODZ is ODZ”, meaning that no development will be authorised or permitted outside the development zone unless really necessary.

Dr Gonzi tried to convey the message that his safe pair of hands would ensure that abusive development would now grind to a halt. Yet, on the eve of the 2008 general election, Dr Gonzi participated in secret meetings with the illegal boathouse lobby which considers that its members have some god-given right over the public land that they have taken hold of. The result of those meetings was a PN commitment to protect illegal development carried out before 1992 on public land.

At stake are 230 tumoli of land (26 hectares), which, since way back in 2003, on the eve of another election, the PN-led government had agreed to transfer to the squatters’ holding company, Armier Developments Limited. The agreement between the government and the squatters’ holding company indicates a lease for 65 years against payment of €366,000 per annum. To date, this agreement has not been submitted for Parliament’s approval in terms of the Disposal of Government Land Act.

The squatters also expected the PL to protect their illegal constructions, which agreement was forthcoming. The newsletter Il-Bajja, published by the squatters, in October 2007 had referred to a meeting with the then Leader of the Opposition, Alfred Sant. It said that he had promised to honour an earlier agreement with the squatters, which was entered into way back in 2002.

As far as is known, Joseph Muscat has not repudiated Labour’s agreement with the squatters.

During this legislature, Minister Jason Azzopardi has embarked on a crusade of evicting squatters from public property including clearing squares and pavements of encroachments by restaurants and open air cafés. His staff members were meticulous in ensuring that an extra chair or table not covered by a permit was removed forthwith.

While noting and acting on the odd chair or table, Dr Azzopardi has turned the Nelson’s eye to the large-scale use of public land by the squatters at L-Aħrax tal-Mellieha. In so doing, he has applied the policy of being strong with the weak and weak with the strong.

Former Minister Michael Falzon wrote in an article entitled They Never Heard Of Jason Azzopardi (Malta Today, February 15, 2009) that he (Mr Falzon) was not supported by his Cabinet colleagues when, as the minister responsible for land use planning, he tried to clean up the Mellieħa boathouse mess. He was left “to burn my fingers alone, nay, my palms, arms and body. The lack of support from my then Cabinet colleagues – let alone the then backbench – was overwhelming. I could almost hear them chant: ‘Burn, Michael, burn!’”

It is clear that the PN is committed to supporting the illegal development on public land. By being silent on the issue, Labour too supports the PN’s stand without any reservations.

This is the new politics of Labour and the PN: being in cahoots with the squatters in order to exchange votes for public land, which they have occupied illegally for years. It is an issue on which PL and PN policies converge!

The environmental NGOs campaigning for a resolution of the illegal development at L-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa undoubtedly understand that there is only one way through which the land used by the squatters is restored and returned to public ownership and use. This can only be achieved through the election of green members of Parliament. The others are committed to supporting the squatters as they have been doing throughout the years.

There is no other way. If you seek real change, voting green is the only option. The others are compromised.

published in The Times on Saturday January 21, 2012