1000 Gozitans pursuing studies at University – Fast ferry service needed
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The Gozo University Group has told MEP Alfred Sant, that almost 1000 young Gozitan people are pursuing their studies at the University of Malta – which is one fifth of the University’s population, they said.
The Gozitan students shared their concerns and ambitions during an informal meeting with the Maltese MEP, such as connectivity problems between Gozo and Malta, job opportunities in Gozo, higher costs for accommodation in the University area and public transport between Cirkewwa and the University of Malta.
GUG students stated that a fast ferry service between Gozo and Malta would be “the best solution to ease and save time crossing from Gozo to Malta,” while also complaining of the overcrowded buses from Cirkewwa to the University.
Speaking about the proposed Gozo tunnel, they pointed out that “even if it was a success, by the time it is completed, their studies would surely have come to an end.”
They also noted there are limited job opportunities in the financial service in Gozo and noted that fibre optic upgrading may encourage more companies to establish base in Gozo.
Alfred Sant said EU islands like Gozo need state aid. “Such aid will not effect the EU’s single market, but the EU still doesn’t accept this.” He said that if he is elected, he will continue to focus on matters that relate to Gozitan interests.
“I will continue to focus on matters related to Gozitan interests such as EU funding for Gozo but beyond that too, matters related to project financing for farmers, SMEs and artisanal initiatives in Gozo. One major aim would be to ensure that as much as possible, EU policies for the single market, do not end as one size fits all exercise,” Dr Sant said.
He argued that the EU needs new structures that are more favourable for communities like those living in Gozo, thus allowing for their survival and flourishing.
“Depopulation in small EU islands like Gozo will become irreversible unless exceptional measures are allowed which do not necessarily comply with wider EU rules and policies,” said the MEP.
He went on to say that, “even now, with economic growth running at over 4% per annum in the Maltese islands, young people in Gozo tell me they have no future in their island.”
Alfred Sant argued in favour of a deeper economic intervention of the public sector in partnership with private business to create new enterprises, new jobs especially for young people.
“Digital ventures, financial services, artisanal and farming enterprises, health services could all be targeted to reverse depopulation in Gozo, both when the national economy is performing healthily and when it is weak,” concluded Dr Sant.
GUG members Nicole Debrincat, Mark Farrugia, Sean Grech, Elaine Haber, Charlene Scerri, Samuel Buttigieg and Christoph Caruana attended the meeting.