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Partit Demokratiku asks Auditor General to investigate Smart City contract

The PD is arguing that the Ricasoli land should have been returned to the people once the transfer conditions were not met

Denise Grech
2 August 2017, 3:35pm
MPs Marlene Farrugia and Godfrey Farrugia want the Auditor General to investigate SmartCity contract
MPs Marlene Farrugia and Godfrey Farrugia want the Auditor General to investigate SmartCity contract
Partit Demokratiku leader Marlene Farrugia and MP Godfrey Farrugia have asked the Auditor General to investigate why an alleged breach of the Smart City contract did not result in the land being returned to the public.

The request is being amidst allegations that SmartCityMalta Ltd is reselling commercial land as residential areas, allowing it to make a greater profit off the price of the land.

The PD is accusing the company “of not keeping up with the conditions that gave it ownership in the first place”. The party alleges that the company has repurposed commercial areas to residential ones, stocking up prices for the value of the land.

“We would like you to investigate why, when the company did not stick to their contract, the country did not take back immediate ownership of the land,” the appeal continued.

In its letter, the PD bemoaned the government, who retains a 10% stake in SmartCity, for refusing to intercede with the company’s reselling of land.

During a press conference on Saturday, Marlene Farrugia also alleged that residential plots have been sold without changes to the master plan and without approval from the Planning Authority.

The PD MPs asked the Auditor General to guide parliament on “the best way to safeguard the nation’s interests, now that the value of the land has risen”.

The letter continues to allege that the new residential component will give leeway to investors to speculate on the renewed value of SmartCity land. “In doing so, the PL is guilty of what it once alleged PN would do,” the PD had said.

In 2006, the PL camp criticised PN for selling the SmartCity land for a lower price, suggesting that the reason for doing so was to allow it to be used for speculation by investors.