Gozo’s specific challenges need specific actions – Roberta Metsola
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MEP Roberta Metsola was on the panel of a public discussion held today in Gozo’ – Creating your own Europe in Gozo – organised by the European Parliament Office in Malta and Kunsill Nazzjonali taz-Zghazagh (KNZ).
The MEP said that “Gozo needs urgent decisions to be taken in order to ensure that the specific challenges faced by Gozitan families and entrepreneurs – namely accessibility, access to technology and EU funding – are addressed through specific actions.”
In her speech, Metsola addressed the specific challenges being faced by the Gozitans, primarily accessibility. “Gozo has a lot of potential, and it is now the time to translate reports and studies into action.”
“Gozo Channel needs not only urgent modernisation and upgrading of the current boats, but one or two more boats which should minimise queues and spending hours to travel from one island to the other. Another urgent service which should have started years ago is the fast ferry,” she said.
“This would lead to better quality of life for the Gozitans,” MEP Metsola said. As further solutions to the challenge of accessibility, Roberta Metsola also mentioned the helicopter service and the permanent link.
MEP Metsola spoke about the access to technology as one of the main challenges being faced by Gozitan businesses. She said that this requires urgent investment, as new industries rely solely on creativity and innovation, which require adequate technology.
At this point, Metsola also emphasised that Gozitans who travel daily to work in Malta should not see their pay being spent on transport fees, as these individuals would already be facing the daily challenge of commuting.
On EU funding, MEP Metsola said that it is evident that Gozo must benefit from the maximum amount of funding, something which the Maltese Government should address today, whilst the negotiations on the upcoming EU budget are ongoing.
She emphasised that such funds are crucial for further investment in the island, which, in turn, will lead to economic growth.
Other panel members were MEP Alfred Sant, Dr William Vella KNZ Gozo Liaison Officer, and Gozo Business Chamber President Joe Grech. Mr Eman Borg moderated the debate.