PN calls for Ian Borg’s resignation after private swimming pool is declared illegal by court

The Nationalist Party wants Foreign Affairs Minister Ian Borg to step down from his post after the Court of Appeal ruled his private swimming pool illegal

Foreign Affairs Minister Ian Borg should step down from his post after the Court of Appeal ruled that the swimming pool at his private residence in Dingli was built illegally, the Nationalist Party has said.

"Borg was in charge of the Planning Authority, and while, as the Court itself indicated, he was aware the permission was being disputed before the Courts, he nonetheless proceeded with the pool's development," said spokesperson Stanley Zammit. 

On Wednesday, Chief Justice Mark Chetcuti decided that the Planning Authority was wrong to allow Borg and his wife Rachelle Borg Dingli a permit to build a pool and accompanying amenities at their property in the hamlet of Santa Katerina.

The pool has been declared illegal for the second time. 

In 2019, the court ruled that the PA had used a policy not applicable to the rural area where Minister Borg had built his controversial home to issue a second permit to turn ODZ land into a swimming pool and recreational area.

Notwithstanding this verdict, Borg continued with developments, which resulted in the pool's completion in 2021. 

The PN observed that this development was already dogged by major suspicions, with even the Ombudsman's Office claiming that the application was submitted "deviously." According to Zammit, the court also disbelieved Borg's story of how he got the land abusively from a vulnerable individual.

According to PN, this is "another certificate of bad governance" issued by Maltese courts to the government and the Planning Authority. 

Finally, the PN urged that the Planning Authority be treated seriously and independently, with no interference in its operations.