Bernard Grech questions whether Robert Abela colluded on Portelli's Sannat permit grant

The PN leader questions whether the PM was present for meetings in relation to the permit grant for the mega development, close to the Sannat cliffs

PN leader Bernard Grech on Friday (Photo: PN)
PN leader Bernard Grech on Friday (Photo: PN)

PN leader Bernard Grech questioned whether Prime Minister Robert Abela had anything to do with the permit for the Sannat mega devlopment, granted on Friday.

During a PN meeting in Tarxien on Friday evening, Grech called the permit granted to construction magnate Joseph Portelli an “obscenity".

“This permit was granted despite the recommendations against it. Robert Abela, could it be that in recent days you have been in meetings which you have influenced or have been influenced by? You are responsible for the environmental degradation of the country.” Grech said, stopping short of going into further detail.

On Friday the Planning Authority voted to approve an application to build a block of 125 apartments just 300 metres from the cliff edge in Sannat, Gozo.

He said that although PL pledged to invest into green lungs, it was being contradictory by approving such projects.

“It is not true that they learnt from their mistakes. Do you trust Abela that we will not go back from the decision on the marina and the Zonqor land?”

Grech spoke about the proposal announced by the party for a €2.8 billion trackless tram. “There are those that tried to ridicule our proposal and compare the tram to the bendy buses,” Grech said.

He criticised the €6.25 billion metro proposed by the PL, which he said costs an “exorbitant amount". “The metro proposed by the Labour government would take up 20 years to be completed while ours only takes five,” Grech said. He added that the Labour Party only proposed solutions which indebted the country further.

“Our plan is based on the creation of wealth, with billions generated through the new economic sectors. This solution shows the responsibility and wisdom of our team,” Grech said in reference to PN’s pledge to create 10 new economic sectors.

The PN leader said the trackless tram system would utilise the €700 million spent on the road infrastructure by the Labour government. “In our costed plan, thanks to experts, we came up with a system that incorporates this development. What is good will remain and what is not, will be fixed,” Grech said.

He also said the tram would cover twice as much area as the metro. Grech touched upon the issue of construction waste, generated by the digging of the metro tubes, which he said was of environmental concern.

Grech said the tram would be efficient, quiet, economic and environmentally friendly.