Facelift for Marsaxlokk for years spent under Delimara's shadow

In Marsaxlokk, Joseph Muscat says he will give fishing village a regenerative facelift as compensation for pollution from the Delimara power station.

Labour leader and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Labour leader and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat

The fishing village of Marsaxlokk will be getting a ‘compensatory’ facelift and regeneration for having spent the last decades under the shadow of the “polluting” Delimara power station, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat pledged this evening.

He was reiterating an electoral pledge from 2013, but Muscat said residents would be getting what they finally deserve, at an electoral meeting in Marsaxlokk.

“I can take criticism and I have no qualms in explaining to you why the opening of the new gas-powered plant was delayed. But I will definitely take no lectures from the PN that failed to do anything for 25 years,” Muscat said of his delayed LNG plant for Delimara.

The opening of the new plant was scheduled for March 2015, two years after the PL’s election to power. But the project has been delayed to the summer of 2016. Enemalta has sold a 33% stake for €320 million investment to Shanghai Electric Power, to run the Delimara power station extension.

Next week, businesses start benefitting from a 25% cut in electricity tariffs which were granted in 2014 to domestic householders despite not yet having converted the Delimara power station from heavy fuel oil to liquefied natural gas.

The tariff reductions for business will translate into a €50 million injection in the industries’ competitiveness, Muscat said.

“Are you noticing the difference in your energy bills?” Muscat asked his audience, to which they all shouted “yes”.

Muscat said the government had proved the Nationalist opposition wrong over its “Labour won’t work slogan” – a slogan used by the PN during the 2013 election campaigning: “Today we have one of the lowest unemployment rates across the European Union.

Muscat told party faithful that Microsoft will also be making use of Malta as “a lighthouse country” for educational training, after the company signed  memorandum of understanding to extend the usage of IT in Maltese classrooms.

In her intervention, Social Dialogue Minister Helena Dalli said the government will be reducing the prices of medicine for the third time, while premises had been identified in Marsaxlokk which will be made available for voluntary organisations.

Pointing put that 2014 was a record year for tourism, Tourism Minister Zammit Lewis said tourists visiting Malta in January injected an additional €5 million into the Maltese economy when compared to the same month last year.

He also said that a tourist information office will be opened in Marsaxlokk, adding that majority of tourists visiting the fishing locality were day trippers.

Comparing the Barts Medical School to the “Rolls Royce” of medical schools, Zammit Lewis said the government had managed to attract one of the most important investments to Gozo.