Inquiry into building site mudslide

Finally a positive headline on the Times of Malta front page vis a' vis the Xemxija mudslide. Click here Times of Malta 09/02/06 for the article and read a previous letter in the same newspaper dated January 30th. 2006 from a concerned property owner.

To quote part of the article, architect George Pullicino, the enviroment minister, is reported to have said:-

"In terms of the law, MEPA (click the link to see their new State of the Enviroment Report - A snapshot of the state of Malta's enviroment) had nothing to do with civil matters such as the safety of construction and potential damage to properties of third parties, issues of ownership and servitudes."

So what prevention system is there in place to protect property owners from developers? The law courts take years on end, and Polidano doesn't show up 99% of the time anyway, if we want to take him as a case in point. The other alternative, the Malta Arbitration Centre can settle disputes faster but lacks enforcement, and both parties have to agree and apply in writing for arbitration procedures to commence.

Meanwhile we have to contend with a legal amendment that will come into force shortly raising the maximum fine for the sanctioning of illegal development to Lm10,000 from the current Lm1,000.

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