Development Zones Extensions Approved

The House of Representatives yesterday voted 33-28 in favour of a government motion that will extend the building development zones. MPs voted along party lines, despite a free vote having been granted by the opposition to its members.

The vote was taken following some heated exchanges between the government and the opposition after Opposition Leader Alfred Sant said there were reports that many thousands of liri had been paid by some land owners for their properties in Mosta to be included in the development zones and that there were reports among contractors that Environment Minister George Pullicino and his collaborators had travelled briefly to Sicily where the plans of the development zones were finalised.

Mr Pullicino challenged Dr Sant to repeat his claims outside the House for legal action to be taken. He said he had travelled to Sicily for a day with his policy coordinator and friend following the death of his mother, but the finalisation of the plans had nothing to do with the trip.

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said Dr Sant's "unsubstantiated mud-slinging" was deeply hurtful to people who had worked hard to ensure that this process was fair for everyone.

In his speech Dr Sant said that as soon as the proposed extensions to the development zones were announced, he had declared that this constituted a web of corruption. He would now add that this was a web of institutional corruption.

Read the full article on The Times of Malta Thursday July 27th. 2006 by clicking here.


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