PN ‘preaches one thing on ODZ, then do the other’ – Labour

The Nationalist Party must get its house in order before preaching to others about good governance, Labour MP tells journalists 

The Labour Party has accused the Nationalist Party of hypocrisy after Toni Bezzina filed an application for construction on ODZ land under his wife name's
The Labour Party has accused the Nationalist Party of hypocrisy after Toni Bezzina filed an application for construction on ODZ land under his wife name's

A planning application submitted by the wife of Nationalist MP Toni Bezzina, for the construction of a dwelling on ODZ land was another example of hypocrisy by the PN, Labour MP Franco Mercieca said today. “They preach one thing and do the other,” Mercieca told journalists.

“While he was writing the PN’s environment policy document, Bezzina was filing an application, in his wife’s name, for what he said was the regeneration of two rooms.”

With a copy of what he said were the proposed plans for Bezzina’s villa in hand, Mercieca pointed out that the plans submitted with the application included a wine cellar, a garage, a study as well as three bedrooms.

“The PN was clear in its document, ODZ must remain ODZ,” he said, adding that the plans clearly show that this was not going to be a simple regeneration.

Tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis said that the fact that Bezzina said in his statement that he was withdrawing the application for political reasons was unacceptable and showed that Simon Busuttil is a “weak leader”.

He said both Simon Busuttil and Beppe Fenech Adami have agreed that the application was withdrawn on political grounds, and not to safeguard the environment.

“Simon Busuttil said that the most important factor is the legality but in politics it is not acceptable for a person who writes a document on the environment to simultaneously submit an application that goes against what he is writing,” Zammit Lewis said.

Moreover, he described a statement issued by Bezzina on Sunday as an embarrassment. “He said he wanted to restore two room but it is clearly a villa, if not a complex,” he said.

Questioned by journalists on how he could question Busuttil’s leadership when the government had appeared to do nothing in the face of the Panama Papers scandal, Zammit Lewis insisted that the Prime Minister had taken action by reshuffling the cabinet, adding that while some did not agree with the move, it still constituted action.

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