Abela meets Nadur residents affected by Stagno Navarra land registrations

Prime Minister tells residents to take legal action and contest land reigistrations

Robert Abela meeting Nadur residents affected by the land registrations of the Stagno Navarra family
Robert Abela meeting Nadur residents affected by the land registrations of the Stagno Navarra family

Prime Minister Robert Abela on Thursday made an unexpected visit to residents in a Nadur, where a business group that includes the Stagno Navarra family, former magistrate Dennis Montebello, and the lawyer Carmelo Galea, is registering vast swathes of land they claim is part of an ancient fief. 

Abela met residents of Nadur together with Gozo minister Clint Camilleri, although it is unclear what course of action the prime minister can possibly take: one resident who spoke to MaltaToday said Abela suggested they coordinate a legal action to contest the registrations.

Nadur mayor Edward Said expressed gratitude for what he called “immediate action”. “We are expecting developments,” he said on Facebook. “People here want to put their minds at rest.”

The Stagno Navarra family has taken control of what is called a giuspatronato – a familial privilege granted by a Catholic bishop – to the noble family of Cosmanna Navarra, centuries ago.

MaltaToday has reported extensively on the effects of the ownership of these lands, on residents in Qala.

Crucially, the Stagno Navarra regained control of the giuspatronato, which administered vast swathes of lands in Gozo, after paying off the Maltese archdiocese to relinquish control from the clergyman who controlled it.

Parliamentary secretary for lands Alex Muscat has confirmed that the Stagno Navarras and their business associates have registered over 27,500 square metres of land in Gozo in the name of the Benefice of Sant’ Antonio delli Navarra, as the giuspatronato is called. Patrick Valentino, the lawyer, is its official representative.

Muscat said he is requesting clarifications on the registration process, and will verify what has been done so far.