A “Parliament of hypocrites with a will to destroy Gozo & Malta” – AD
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Parliament approving the motion for a Gozo tunnel “undermines the integrity of the decision-making process of the regulatory authorities,” AD Chairperson and EP candidate Carmel Cacopardo said today, adding that “it is indeed a declaration of complicity to ruin Gozo.”
He stated that, “we have a Parliament of hypocrites with a will to destroy Gozo and Malta, which preaches in favour of environmental protection, including in Gozo: but now when push has come to shove their masks have fallen. Shamefully the motion was approved unanimously.”
Cacopardo was speaking during a press conference held in front of Parliament in Valletta, and also addressed by Mina Tolu, AD candidate for the European Parliament.
“Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. In the European Parliament the only party that constantly and consistently vote for measures to protect the climate is the European Green Party. The other parties are constantly engaged in a series of trade-offs with economic operators,” Mina Tolu added.
“Environmental protection involves much more than the cleanups in the countryside,” Tolu said. “It also involves decision-making processes, which if not conducted responsibly can destroy the future of generations yet to come. ”
Cacopardo argued that, “it’s a declaration whereby Parliament is trying to condition the authorities and institutions which have to weigh and analyse the project when the application is submitted.”
“It is useless for PN and PL to shed crocodile tears about the need of public authorities to do their job with integrity and neutrality and then at a critical moment trying to condition the way they act,” he added.
AD stated that “the purpose of facilitating mobility between Malta and Gozo can be easily achieved through a rapid ferry service from Mgarr in Gozo to various parts of Malta’s coastline, without creating substantial environmental impacts.”
“Environmental impacts generated by the proposed tunnel between Malta and Gozo include not only construction waste and the scourge of sea reclamation being proposed by Government and powerful lobbies,” stated AD.
It argued that, “the tunnel will substantially increase vehicle movement between the islands; this is contrary to the national transport plan which requires that cars on the roads decrease, not increase. ”
AD explained that “the financial success of the proposed tunnel is dependent on vehicles crossing between the islands because the income of the tunnel operators will be dependent on the payment made for each car crossing from side to side. These operators will therefore encourage more and more traffic.”
“We cannot but ask why the preliminary geological studies have so far been kept secret?” said AD.” We know that the public consultation on the environmental impact study have not been conducted yet and that environmental studies are still pending.”
AD stated that the projected expenditure is still not known since this depends on the outcomes on studies which have not been completed and published yet.
It pointed out that “similar projects abroad, albeit connecting vast masses of land with huge populations, show that even the projected costs can soar given the unpredictability of this kind of work. ”
AD concluded by saying that, “contrary to PL/PN, bent on the destruction of Gozo, AD believes in Gozo as an ecological island. The others believe, in cahoots with business lobbies, in destroying Gozo and making it a copy of Malta.”