[WATCH] First 6 km of underground system could be completed in five years - Anglu Xuereb

The entrepreneur said he hadn't given up on plans for a mass transport system, insisting it is feasible and would not cost more than €500 million

Entrepreneur Anglu Xuereb was a guest on Thursday's episode of Xtra Sajf
Entrepreneur Anglu Xuereb was a guest on Thursday's episode of Xtra Sajf

Entrepreneur Anglu Xuereb has insisted that an underground mass-transport system for Malta is feasible, and that the first 6 km of such a system could be completed within five years.

Xuereb was a guest on Xtra Sajf, hosted by Saviour Balzan, where he said that this type of system had not been taken seriously because politicians don’t think in the long-term.

“I’ve been talking about a mass-transport system for 25 years. I’ve published plans and have spoken about it many times, but unfortunately politicians don’t really think long-term,” he said.

When Balzan suggested that the cost of an undertaking of the sort would run into the billions of Euro, Xuereb said he was convinced it would not cost more than €500 million.

He said that rather than engage foreign consultants to determine the feasibility of the system, plans needed to be devised locally in order for them to be based on the needs and experiences of people on the island.

The first phase, he said, would see the implementation of a system linking Sliema, Gzira, Hamrun, Birkirkara and surrounding localities.

He said big stations would need to be set up in large catchment areas like Mater Dei, Marsa and the Birgu, which would then be linked to other areas by means of smaller busses.

'Contesting 2003 election taught be about partisan politics'

Xuereb discussed various episodes from his past, including his 2008 election candidature as deputy leader of Azzjoni Nazzjonali.

The party, set up shortly before the election and which was led by former PN MP Josie Muscat, did not perform well in that election, and Xuereb said that entering politics had taught him a lot.

“That’s where I learnt what partisan politics is all about,” he said, explaining that he had decided to run because he had experience in infrastructure as well as a good understanding of what people wanted.  “I learnt that it’s not about knowing people in the street.”

Among the lessons he learnt, Xuereb said, was that the country’s laws prevented any third party from making it into parliament.

“At the time I thought that if you had something good to offer the country, you would get elected.”

Watch the full episode in the link above