Nationalist MP accuses Muscat of breathing new life into Lorry Sant legacy

Nationalist MP Mario Galea says former Lorry Sant henchmen stand to gain huge benefits from proposed development of new university at Zonqor Point.

Nationalist MP Mario Galea
Nationalist MP Mario Galea

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is giving life to Lorry Sant’s old legacy, as stalwarts close to the former public works minister stand to gain huge profits from the proposed development of the university, Nationalist MP Mario Galea said today.

Echoing the party’s reservations over the siting of the proposed ‘American university’ at Zonqor Point, Galea insisted that the underlying element behind the development was to benefit Labour’s inner circles, including former Lorry Sant henchmen.

“As it sits, these lands have no value because they are in an outside development zone, and accordingly cannot be developed. However, if the university were to be given the green light, the value of these lands will rocket,” he said.

Michael Axisa, a stalwart of the late public works minister Lorry Sant and the director of Lay Lay Company, was identified as being the owner of a land that forms part of the site proposed for the development of the university.

In addition, Axisa was also on the receiving end of planning enforcement issued in 1997 against an illegal and uncompleted dwelling constructed on part of the land earmarked for the university. Similarly, Times of Malta had reported that owners of the land also include Piju Camilleri, Joe Chetcuti, Norman Clews, Joe Formosa, Joe Camilleri, Paul Abela, and Manuel Farrugia – people who were renowned during the era of Lorry Sant.

“During Lorry Sant’s tenure, his stalwarts used to buy pieces of agricultural land with the advanced knowledge that a road would be built soon. They used to buy the land for peanuts and then sell them for huge profits,” the Nationalist MP recalled.

Galea also recalled that the late, controversial minister had planned to open a road connecting Zonqor Point to Xghajra, only for this plan to be scrapped by the 1987 PN government.

“Those who had bought lands close to Zonqor Point ended up with nothing as they could not sell the lands for development … Many had believed that Lorry Sant’s clique and the environmental disasters were a thing for the past.”

“Joseph Muscat is now giving breathing new life to the Lorry Sant's henchmen; what Lorry Sant failed to do, Muscat is now doing,” he said.

Galea also said that just over a month ago, a person close to Lorry Sant and to the Labour Party, had boasted that a major project was coming to Zonqor and that he would make a lot of money form it.

Galea also condemned the government’s “deceit and lies,” arguing that it was initially believed that the university would be an American one, only for it to transpire that it would be bankrolled by a group of Jordanian investors – the Sadeen Group.

“These investors have never been involved in any university, but are involved in the construction industry. It is inevitable that one asks whether a university will be built, only for it to become a hotel after a few years,” Galea said.

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