Why MORE than 3,000 people need to attend the next protest

To those that are not familiar with the current situation in the Maltese Islands, allow me to briefly explain what’s going on; a national protest was held yesterday in front of the Parliament Building in Valletta, where over 3,000 people attended what was considered the biggest environmental rally in the country’s history. People from all walks of life gathered together to protest the rampant over-development of what are known as ODZ (Outside Development Zone) lands and the general countryside. The demonstration was triggered specifically by the government’s proposal to use Żonqor point in Marsascala (over 90,000 sq. M. of ODZ and agricultural land) as the site for the development of a University and the establishment of Front Ħarsien ODZ, the organisation which masterminded the protest.

What’s absolutely unacceptable and unabashedly shady about the development is that, at the time of the writing of this article, the Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat has not yet published the agreement made with Sadeen Investments Ltd, the company behind the proposal. Several Labour MPs have declined to answer questions in relation to the development; in fact, the government in general has maintained a stoic approach of giving the issue as little coverage as possible as well as doing its utmost to smear the image of the countryside in question and labelling it as a wasteland rather than the beautiful stretch of fields and greenery it actually is.

The protest was, therefore, a success – a small step in the right direction. However, we must not stop now and think we have thwarted the government’s efforts to turn our country into the next Dubai or Singapore (these were the Prime Minister’s words, not mine). Our country is not characterised by slabs of concrete and man-made structures, nor is it a haven for the affluent; Malta’s best parts are the ones we are ruthlessly bulldozing to build accommodations for the wealthy. The serene countryside, the richness of our history, the beauty of the unpolluted beaches and the clean, fresh air of the natural environment are the country’s biggest attractions. Most of the tourists that come to Malta come here to relax and unwind from the fast-paced lifestyles of bigger, built-up cities, thus making the systemic destruction of the environment at the hands of relentless developers and money-hungry politicians both irresponsible and short-sighted.

It is for these reasons that we must do anything we need to do in order to stop our countryside from being pillaged any further. 3,000 people is not a number that should be ignored, yet Dr Joseph Muscat, in his typical irritating and passive style, still had the stones to say that “we are not an arrogant government but we have to ensure that the economy continues to grow so we will take the necessary decisions… I believe there are common sense compromise solutions which this government is working upon.” It does not take a genius to construe that what he meant by that is that the protest has been acknowledged, but we will still make sure that money keeps flowing into the country’s coffers, even if it means screwing the environment anyway. More people need to snap out of the red vs. blue mentality that has made the country a free gravy train for those in bed with the ruling party and one, giant slab of concrete for the rest. More people need to add their voice to the resistance, or what makes our country beautiful and unique will keep on being chipped away until there’s nothing else left.

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10 thoughts on “Why MORE than 3,000 people need to attend the next protest”

    1. Farms and vegetables FEED your children. And, as far as I know (considering I was a student there last year), there already is University of Malta which not only provides education at a tertiary level but it also provides a stipend for the students. This University will not be free and its courses and relevant degrees will probably add next to nothing to Malta’s educational system.

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      1. More Universities do not necessarily mean more education. A private University is going to be expensive and of little educational value when one considers that the Curriculum is an American Syllabus which not only is irrelevant in Europe but also is not affiliated with any prominent university in the USA (thus making it invalid in the USA as no one is going to take note of a foreigner’s degree without a local stamp of approval). So please, for your own sake, try to learn more about what’s going on.

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  1. Don’t waste more time the Government has decided the People of Malta have decided with 37,000 majority. The University will be done on the land proposed. This is what our honourable Prim Minister Joseph Muscat stated this morning. The government will take into account yesterday’s protest against development in outside development areas but will not shy away from taking the necessary decisions to ensure that the economy continues to grow, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this morning.
    “I believe there are common sense compromise solutions which this government is working upon,” he said.
    More than 3,000 people yesterday took part in what many consider to be the biggest pro-environment protest ever seen in Malta.
    The protest was organised by Front Harsien ODZ which was set up in retaliation to the proposed development of a private university at Zonqor Point, taking over 90,000 square metres of land.
    Speaking during a brief telephone interview on One Radio, Dr Muscat said the government acknowledged the people who protested yesterday and “we get the message”.
    However, the government had to take the necessary decisions so as not to have to introduce tough measures which would be needed if the economy regressed.
    “We are not an arrogant government but we have to ensure that the economy continues to grow so we will take the necessary decisions… I believe there are common sense compromise solutions which this government is working upon,” he said.

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    1. Considering you quoted an article which I literally mentioned in my post, it’s evident you didn’t even bother to read what I wrote but merely saw that the headline opposes what your leader said and you decided to comment. Last time I checked Malta was a democracy, which gives people like us the right to protest the government’s decisions. Just because you have been brainwashed into believing every single word Joseph Muscat says doesn’t mean everyone else on the island is.

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