European Commission lashes back -
Sunday, July 1, 2007

Barbara Bode

"Enough!" say the Gozitans and the Maltese. "Enough development." No more petitions! No more letters to the Editor! Why did we join the EU? "To get our laws enforced," say many.

And so, Gozitans and Maltese started writing to the European Union about the overwhelming overdevelopment of Malta...with Gozo next in sight.

And the EU is listening. At the end of March, a delegation from the European Commission came to visit both Malta and Gozo to see what the rumpus was all about. And they noted, and they conferred.

Fort Cambridge in Sliema is first in the Commission's sights. An Environmental Impact Assessment there was waived for no documented reason. That place is first and fast-tracked on the EC list... 117 more follow.

But now there's a new one, or rather, a new couple: the Ulysses Lodge 23 "tourist villas" and ODZ swimming pools at Ramla Bay with no Environmental Impact Assessment and no assurance of compliance with the Habitats Directive there on the north side of Ramla. On the south side, Nadur parish plans a super-cemetery. Again no EIA or Habitats Directive was considered. They too were turned down a couple of times by MEPA until the parish used political and social muscle to get what they wanted.

And what's the fear? Some 450 farmers below, working the 500-year-old citrus groves fed by these fresh spring streams, wonder "now, who will buy my oranges?"

And what's the breach?The breaches are: Breach of Directive 85/337/EEC (EIA Directive) as amended and Directive 92/43/E$EC (Habitats Directive) in relation to proposed development at Ramla Bay.
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01 Jul 2007 by