Update: PN promises Gozo a regional council so its people can decide – Delia
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Update with response from Ministry for Gozo below – “The Labour Government continues to ignore the Gozitans and instead of giving them more autonomy and independence, it will establish an Authority controlled by the Minister,” said the Leader of the Nationalist Party Adrian Delia while speaking about the draft law on the Gozo Regional Development Authority, which is being discussed in Parliament this evening.
He added, this shows that once again the Government “has no interest in Gozo.” Dr. Delia said that the Authority will not give powers to Gozo to take decisions, “instead it will be the Minister that decides.”
Adrian Delia continued by saying that “this is not what suits Gozo and therefore the Opposition will be voting against this authoritative board for Gozo.
He said that the Opposition wants to set up a Regional Council, which would be elected directly by the Gozitans themselves, and have executive powers for everything that involves Gozo and its development, with adequate funding and European funds.
The Leader of the Nationalist Party said the Opposition must give Gozo island region status in the Constitution, in order to give Gozitans the power to decide.
During the news conference the Opposition Leader Adrian Delia was accompanied by Chris Said spokesperson for Gozo, the Opposition Spokesman on Education and Social Affairs Gozo Frederick Azzopardi, the Speakers of the Opposition Capital Projects, Planning and Property Market Marthese Portelli and Opposition Spokesman on European Affairs and Brexit David Stellini.
Update: In response, the Ministry for Gozo said in a statement that the position adopted by the PN is “hindering the development of Gozo and Gozitans.”
“Through the Authority, Gozitans would have reassurance that the island will see sustainable development, fostering jobs and growth with a planned strategy that will take the island to 2030,” the Ministry said.
It added that the Authority will play a central and executive role in all of this, and will review this plan every three years to ensure that Gozo has sustainable development and special protection for the natural environment.
The Ministry stated that Gozo is currently enjoying unprecedented growth, with the number of visitors also steadily growing, and the level of unemployment is at its lowest level ever. “All this can be sustained by the Regional Development Authority for Gozo.”