Marsaskala yacht marina plans scrapped, Prime Minister Robert Abela says

Robert Abela in Marsaskala says marina plans have been scrapped after government listened to people’s concerns

Robert Abela in Marsaskala
Robert Abela in Marsaskala

Plans for the construction of a yacht marina in Marsaskala have been scrapped, Prime Minister Robert Abela said.

He made the announcement while being interviewed in Marsaskala during a Labour Party event on Tuesday evening.

Abela said from the messages he received it was clear that there was a fear among people that the foreshore will be compromised by the marina plans, even if these were vastly reduced from the original idea.

“The best decision in view of all the circumstances is to stop this project immediately,” Abela said to resounding applause.

The marina plans were shot down by the local council and residents, who protested against the project when it first came to light. The PN had also opposed the proposed development.

The Prime Minister said that it was his government’s duty to listen to the concerns raised and this led to the decision to abandon the project.

Reacting to the Prime Minister’s statement, Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech said pressure by residents and NGOs to stop the development has paid off. He was speaking at a PN event in St Julian's.

“The people of Marsakala, the NGOs, civil society, and above all the PN have emerged victorious,” Grech said. “Now he must promise us that the project will not be stopped for the election only, but forever.”

Activist group Graffitti, which led the protests against the marina, welcomed the development and promised more resistance in the future if any plans, whether big or small, for a marina in Marsaskala, where to be put forward again.

Recycling plant and Żonqor

Abela added that the process to start dismantling the Marsaskala recycling plant has started, which will liberate 20,000sq.m of open land for the community.

He explained that the decision to take back the Żonqor land given to the American University of Malta was made in line with the government’s new priorities to value the quality of life.

“We wanted to safeguard private investment by making sure this project will move forward within our new vision and so the AUM extension will now happen at Smart City alongside the ITS campus,” Abela said.

He added that within the first 100 days of a new Labour government the land swap will be presented to parliament so that Żonqor will return back to the public.

Tax cuts

Abela said the widening of the tax bands announced earlier in the day would leave €66 million in people’s pockets. These would be accompanied by a further €24 million injection through the renewal of the tax refund scheme.

He also spoke about the decision to cut the corporate tax rate to 25% from 35% on the first €250,000 in profits, which was intended to encourage businesses to invest.

Abela used the occasion to call on banks and regulatory authorities not to stifle businesses.