Engerer decries PL's and PN's lack of support for Qala mayor's fight against Ħondoq development

XTRA | Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer says Qala mayor Paul Buttiġieġ was offered no support by the major parties in fighting against the development of Ħondoq ir-Rummien

Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer
Labour MEP Cyrus Engerer

MEP Cyrus Engerer has hit out against both the Nationalist and Labour party for leaving Paul Buttiġieġ alone in fighting against the development of Ħondoq ir-Rummien.

“The reality is that the Qala mayor, was left alone for the entire 23 years to wage this battle in the Maltese courts, and he emerged victorious alone," Engerer said.

Interviewed on TVM’s XTRA, the Labour MEP said the environment is still not a priority for both government and the opposition.

“Well done to him, and to other mayors like him," Engerer said.

Following a protracted twenty-year old battle spearheaded by environmentalists and Qala mayor Paul Buttigieg, the Planning Authority issued three main objectives of its local plan review to ensure the protection of Ħondoq ir-Rummien, last week.

The amendments will only be drafted following the first round of public conclusion on the objectives which will be subsequently reissued for another round of public consultation.

Engerer paid tribute to “other dedicated mayors” who have taken a stand for the environment. He mentioned Christian Zammit, the former Xagħra mayor who resigned in April, and PN mayor Noel Formosa among others.

READ ALSO: Development in Ħondoq to be limited to afforestation

These mayors, according to Engerer, have been working tirelessly to protect the environment from the actions of one government, after the other.

Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri and Nationalist spokesperson for Gozo MP Alex Borg were also part of the panel, and criticised each other’s parties for their lack of effort in the islands’ environmental conservation.

Engerer also spoke about the 2006 local plans, saying they led to the construction of “monstrous buildings” in locations renowned for their natural beauty.

“We are saying that we can change the local plans in Ħondoq. Good. Well done. Will we be doing the same to localities that suffered the obscenities that George Pullicino introduced in 2006?” he said.

He urged both parties to prioritise environmental preservation and reconsider local development plans to safeguard the nation's unique natural and traditional heritage.