'This country is becoming unliveable', Jason Azzopardi says

The Nationalist MP said that Malta needed to answer the question on its population capacity and only with a tangible answer could it then come up with a national environmental strategy

Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi said the country had become unlivable
Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi said the country had become unlivable

Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi has said that Malta had become unliveable through its massive population growth.

"Malta is suffocated and congested. 600 persons per year are dying due to respiratory diseases and other illness related to the quality of air, which is the worst in Europe. We also have the worst recycling rate in Europe. This country is becoming unliveable," Azzopardi said.

He was speaking at a press conference held by the Nationalist Party at the PN Centre in Pietà.

"The reason for this is that the current socialist government has no plan in terms of the environment and does not have a concrete economic plan to tackle the increasing population," Azzopardi continued.

He said that back in 2013, Environment Minister José Herrera had signed a "secret deal" with Bulgaria, costing Malta €200,000 per year, to allow the island to exceed caps on emissions.

"What's Malta's population capacity?" he added, arguing that the answer to this question was required in order for the government to have a strategy in place to deal with the influx.

He argued that the PN had concrete proposals and plans as seen in the electoral manifesto launched at the PN's General Council last week.

As a "remedy" to the government's lack of environmental forethought, Michael Briguglio said that the PN had plenty of proposals in this regard that would reverse the environmental mismanagement of Labour's administration.

"The government recognised its own environmental deficits when the State of the Environment Report was published last year. Malta is failing to reach the EU targets in terms of the environment, the only country in Europe to do so," Briguglio said.

He added that before Malta's accession to the EU, Malta made use of the Maghtab landfill. Today, this same landfill, he argued, was in a terrible state and releasing an unbearable stench.

"The PN manifesto was approved at the PN General Council. On the other hand, Labour issued a pamphlet as an afterthought and only talked about these proposals after their General Council. I'd like to know who approved of this document," Briguglio said.

He suggested that alternative modes of transport were desperately required in the country and that Malta needed to make better use of the EU's environmental programmes to allow for a modal shift in transport.