Malta u l-politika

Ittri ċċensurati u punti ta' riflessjoni politika.




It-Teatru Rjal


Hawn ghadna prova ohra ta' kemm il-Gvern Nazzjonalista assolutament ma jitghallimx mill-izbalji. Din il-prova taghilna l-gvern stess meta frisk mic-canfira kbira li nghata wara x-xiri ta' Dar Malta fi Brussell, f'Ottubru 2004 iddecieda li jerga jidhol ghal-spiza enormi ta' Lm16 miljun ohra biex jibni parlament gdid fil-post fejn bhal issa hemm il-fdalijiet tat-teatru Rjal fi Triq ir-Repubblika Valletta.


Tant il-gvern hu nsensittiv ghall-opinjoni pubblika, tant il-gvern rasu iebsa u arroganti li minkejja li kellu jitghallem il-lezzjoni li nghata dwar Dar Malta, xorta wahda insista li jibqa li kien qabad appuntu billi kompla zied il-piz finanzjarju tal-pajjiz bil-bini ta' parlament gdid li originalment jiswa Lm16 il-miljun. Il-parkegg taht l-art wahdu biss jiswa Lm7 miljuni. Ghaliex ghidt “originalment”? Ghax ir-rekord tal-Gvern Nazzjonalista jitkellem wahdu. Progett wara progett spicca biex sewa lill-poplu hafna aktar mill-istima tal-Gvern stess. Allura bl-istess kejl li mxew bih in-Nazzjonalisti, wiehed ghandu kull dritt jiddubita kemm fil-fatt dan il-parlament gdid se jiswa is-Lm16 il-miljun li qalulna.


Ir-rejazzjoni tal-poplu kienet immedjata u mistennija. tkompli tikkwota sorsi li m'ghandhomx rekord ta' appogg lill-MLP. Dan isir sabiex l-argumenti f'din il-website ikunu aktar kredibbli u hadd ma jkun jista jgib l-iskuza li l-kritika gejja mill-kamp Laburista.


Xi jrid il-Gvern?


The Times 14.10.2004

“The government wants to relocate Parliament to the old opera house in Valletta, which would be rebuilt, though not in the same style, if Cabinet approves the proposal. Jesmond Mugliett, the Minister for Urban Development, said yesterday the project was in the design stage and its financial feasibility under study.”




The Times 27.10.2004

“It is estimated that if Parliament were to be built on the site formerly occupied by the Opera House this would cost about Lm16 million, including Lm7 million for an underground car park, Urban Development and Roads Minister Jesmond Mugliette said.”


Jista l-progett jistenna?


The Times 27.10.2004

“Asked why an international competition was not held for the designs, Mr Mugliette said the government wanted to get on with it, when Cabinet approves it, and did not want to lose time organising such competitions, which were very time-consuming.”


L-Oppozizzjoni ghal-progett


Opinjoni Pubblika

“Over 58 per cent of those who took part in a The Times online poll are against the government's proposal to build a new Parliament on the site of the old opera house in Valletta

The Times 19.10.2004


Alternattiva Demokratika

“Alternattiva Demokratika described the government's proposal to spend Lm18 million on a new Parliament building on the opera house site as an example of the government's distorted sense of priorities. AD chairman Harry Vassallo said that considering the country's serious financial problems, it was simply irresponsible to spend this amount of money on such a new building.”

The Times 23.10.2004


Union Haddiema Maghqudin

“With reference to the proposed Opera House project, UHM said that the government must stop taking on major projects which the workers end up funding by paying more taxes.”

(di-ve news) - 27.10.2004 - 1600CET



“GRTU opposes to Parliament at Royal Opera House site. The part of Valletta that is meant to be the most lively and attractive will become a desert if Parliament is relocated to the Royal Opera House site, claimed the Chamber for Small Businesses and the Self-Employed (GRTU). In a statement issued yesterday opposing to Parliament being relocated to the Royal Opera House site, the GRTU said Valletta works on a system that offers a retail chain – a series of shops along Republic street that attract customers and entice people to continue walking to see what else is on offer. Relocating Parliament to the beginning of the city’s main road is not viable for trade, said the GRTU.”

The Malta Independent 28.10.2004


Kunsill Malti ghall-Kultura u l-Arti

“In a statement issued this week, the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts told government that the site formerly occupied by the Royal Opera House is not suitable for Parliament. The Council said that the location of Parliament there “would contribute to the death rather than the revival of the image and life of Valletta as a capital city”. The statement urged government to respect the “natural vocation” of the site by providing for its development as an adequate centre for the performing arts.”

The Malta Independent 28.10.2004


The Times

“It has been argued that setting up a shopping mall on the opera house site would kill off business in the rest of Valletta. Would it really? Would a mix of shops and commercial establishments not have been feasible? And what about recreational facilities?”

Editorjal, 16.10.2004


The Sunday Times

“… one feels that the arguments brought so far to build the new Parliament chamber, and ancillary offices, have not been persuasive enough. … somehow, the idea of transforming a former temple of culture into a temple of politics does not sit well with a lot of people.”

Editorjal, 17.10.2004


The Times

“There can hardly be any doubt about it; the way the government has floated the idea of developing the site of the former Opera House into a new Parliament building is a first-class diversionary tactic. How can it be described otherwise when it is so patently clear that it is half-baked in concept and that the government must have known well enough that it was bound to stir the emotions and, also, strong opposition? In line with its expectations, this is what the proposal has brought about. The emotions have been stirred and opposition to the idea is mounting with every day that passes. … If the government were to deny that it is a diversionary tactic, then the situation would be one that calls for serious analysis of the kind of administration we have. Indeed, it would hardly make sense to even think about it, let alone announce it publicly, when the government has as yet barely recovered from the onslaught it quite justifiably received over the purchase of the Brussels building. Would not the man in the street be justifiably correct in thinking that the government seems to have lost the plot? How can it possibly defend itself over this when its financial situation is in such a parlous state? Have we not been through this before over the purchase of the Brussels building? …  Whichever way one begins to consider what the government has in mind, it does seem that it is a half-baked plan and the public has already told the government what it thinks about it. The trade unions are having a field-day lambasting the government over the idea and one can hardly blame them for doing so. With the government going all out in its efforts to prepare the public for a hike in the rates for water and electricity, in the wake of the oil price rise, it is only natural that they expect the administration to act prudently, more so when it is still struggling to keep to the financial targets it set in the last budget. …  Before wasting more time on the topic, the government should bow to public opinion and withdraw the idea.”

Editorjal, 30.10.2004


Guido Saliba

“…  it is not wise nor viable, given our dire financial position, to spend many millions for accommodating MPs that do not operate full-time. Indeed there are times when it is difficult to form a quorum in Parliament.”

The Sunday Times 31.10.2004


Is-Sitwazzjoni bhal issa


Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said he wasted two years in trying to enter into a public-private partnership to carry out the project of the Royal Opera House. The Prime Minister made the admission during the TV programme Reporter hosted by Maltatoday editor Saviour Balzan. He explained that the new opera house has to be paid from the taxpayer's money. Dr. Gonzi said that this project will be undertaken in the next legislation and will take around four years to be completed and will cost around Lm12 million.

(di-ve news)--September 18, 2007 -- 2230CEST





SENA 2008

Dr. Gonzi rega beda fuq it-Teatru


Joseph Vella Bondin, Sta Venera

The Times 29.12.2008

Let me add my voice to the flood of justified protests being made against the proposed building of Parliament on the Royal Opera House site. Giving us vague promises that cultural venues will be included in the project and that a theatre is planned for a rehabilitated Fort St Elmo still do not make the proposal even remotely attractive or acceptable. Telling us that the nation cannot afford the running costs of another theatre implies that there is not the right type of people running existing venues. For if the reputed losses registered by the annual Opera Festival is taken as the yardstick, I suggest that the authorities examine the revenue account of the splendid operas held at the Manoel Theatre between 1996 and 1998. At that time, the Manoel did not import wholesale opera productions, knowing that they were an easy way out option, would be substantially costlier and would lead to a deplorable and unacceptable loss of local stage know-how. Moreover, I do not accept the fact that such fundamental projects are not included in the electoral manifestos on which we were asked to vote. For these do not affect solely the present population but also the inheritance rights and cultural well-being of future generations. If Parliament needs to be moved, let it go to Fort St Elmo. From the logistics, security and social viewpoints, it is surely the best location. Moreover, if it is designed to accommodate the Prime Minister's offices, the Auberge de Castille, perhaps the most beautiful of all edifices inherited from the Knights of St John, can be rehabilitated to its pristine condition to serve as an important and unique tourist attraction.


Frans H. Said, St Paul's Bay

The Times 27.12.2008

Much has been written on the use of the site formerly occupied by the Opera House. Perhaps our politicians have found the right use. A theatre for Parliament! Is this their opinion of what occurs in our Parliament? Is our Parliament just theatrics? Are parliamentary debates only drama and comedies? Or is it just a comedy of errors? With Parliament moving to the city entrance fewer people will move around Valletta. In the past, the new Parliament building had been earmarked to be built instead of the Main Guard. If the government really wants to put new life in Valletta let it refurbish all the abandoned or badly used grand houses. Learn from other cities. Create points of attraction in all the corners of the city. Make moving around easy in that hilly terrain. Above all, provide ample parking zones. The public transport at the edge of the city will not serve the aging population. Malta will be listed as being the only country, and Valletta the only city, that had a grand theatre that was not rebuilt. A properly run theatre is not a burden. I had suggested the setting up of a Trust that could seek funds for the building and cover the regular expenses but the authorities do not want to listen. The small island of Gozo can support two theatres and Valletta cannot have a national venue for the ever popular opera. This is not nostalgia. Culture is not built into small rooms. Culture is to be lived. St James is more than adequate for the elusive "culture". I have nothing against Renzo Piano as long as he does not come up with anachronisms for our Baroque city. I ask: Who stands to gain financially or otherwise from this waste of public money? Our government that claims to offer open debate has not yet accepted my plea for a dedicated conference on the Opera House site. This is not dialogue but imposition! It is still in time to debate the various options. The debate/conference should include a wide spectrum of speakers and opinions!


Michael Bonnici, Zebbug

The Times 27.12.2008

May I suggest that the building opposite the President's Palace in Valletta, known as the Main Guard, should house the Parliament building. Though there may be some difficulties in re-locating the restaurant and the Italian Cultural Institute, I presume that the government will have the ways and means to overcome this hurdle. The back of this building is partly on Strait Street where vacant building could be acquired for additional space. The proposed underground parking planned under the square will be one big holistic project that would have the consensus of everyone. Please do not put Parliament in a former opera house - the saying is too rough to pronounce in the press.


Karl Consiglio, Paceville

The Times 22.12.2008

It is scandalous to have such an important part of our heritage used for the sole purpose of political capriciousness, worse still that we, the people, will have to pay for it from our own pocket. I always believed the government's purpose was to make itself, as much as possible, felt unnecessary, not have our Parliament smack in the middle first thing on entering our capital, no matter the attractive sugar-coated Renzo Piano architecture. Politicians manoeuvre like businessmen, but they are not going to fool anybody. Now what about the desperate need to update, of late, the art and cultural scene in Malta, the importance of which has been pointed out so many a times before? I doubt that they fail to understand it. No, I think they know very well what they are doing and it's not fair. All this coming from our PM who not so long ago we recall accusing Alfred Sant, by quoting Dom Mintoff, of having lost his social conscience. Well what a hypocrite I must say. Is our plea regarding the project for the Opera House falling on deaf ears, ignorant, or worse still, arrogant ones? After all the good this government has done in the past, is this how it wants to be remembered? Many, like myself, feel disgusted and heartbroken on the matter. It is vital that the space be used for purposes accessible to the public, both Maltese as well as the tourist industry on which we are most reliant. Therefore a new Parliament does not even deserve a space on the list of options. It's as scandalous and shameful as that which crushed the Opera House in the first place. I would not be in the least bit surprised if in the distant future, at some point, the tragic history concerning this location is misinterpreted. Further still, what is the plaque going to read this time? "Here stands 'our' handsome Parliament which the government of Malta has given to itself, on behalf of itself, with the people's money and on their rightful territory but without their consent for Christmas". It's such a sad story.


Erin Stewart Tanti, Swieqi

The Times 21.12.2008

I am disappointed by the government's plans for the rebuilding of the Opera House. I believe that public opinion should be heard on this matter. Will anybody listen to what the people have to say? Only a week ago I joined the online Facebook group "No to House of Parliament instead of Opera House (Malta)", and I am proud to see that those who joined have now swelled to 2,000 (at the time of writing), all wanting to contribute to the debate. British supporters of our cause, representing potential tourists upon whom our economy depends, have also tried to make their voice heard and built a website - www. - to create international awareness. Many people would like to see their money spent on culture and the arts. I believe we should put this issue to a referendum. Once it concerns a national heritage site, to which so many are sentimentally attached, I feel that giving the people a say is the least that our democracy may give us.


Paul Xuereb, Birkirkara

The Times 21.12.2008

Though unfortunately it appears that our government has firmly decided to build a parliament (plus a couple of vague cultural centres) on the Royal Opera House site, I feel I should still try to appeal to the Prime Minister and his advisers to rethink their decision. Moving Parliament from the Palace is, we are told, meant to make the Palace more accessible to tourists and to make it possible to move the Armoury of the Knights of St John back to its historic setting. Should this consideration, based solely on what the tourists are thought to need, weigh so much more heavily than what our citizens need and many of them want? This will mean, of course, that Malta will have given up, perhaps forever, the enrichment of its capital city with what it had for nearly 100 years, a largish theatre fully equipped to house elaborate performances of opera, operetta and musicals. Most people know that the theatres now available in Valletta - the Manoel, the theatre at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, the round theatre at St James Cavalier and the studio theatre known as the MITP - are either largely unsuitable or completely unsuitable for the kind of production our parents and grandparents took for granted and were able to enjoy again and again every season. I know we are unlikely to be able to mount, say, two or three large productions each month from October till May, but our increasingly skilful theatre people and daring administrators and musicians plus visiting productions would prevent a new theatre from being dark for weeks on end. The new theatre would also be available, of course, for smaller productions. Our government should also consider that making Parliament occupy Malta's prime site might create the suspicion, surely unjustified, that parliamentarians are a pampered and privileged lot who just want the best for themselves. If they want to move house, and it is probable that their present housing has become inadequate, why don't they build themselves a large building outside Valletta, or wait a few years until Fort St Elmo has been restored and becomes fit to house our legislators? Is it too much to hope that the PM will allow a full-scale debate, with both party leaders allowing a free vote, about where Parliament should move in the coming years?


Salvino J. Sullivan, Ta' Xbiex

The Times 12.12.2008

I fully agree with Austin Sammut (December 2) when he wrote: "There has been much talk of moving the House to the Opera House site (that site damned to remain as it is). But I say, move Parliament to Fort St Elmo. It is one way of reviving lower Valletta, by giving the area a sense of importance. The city today is only vibrant, so to say, up to the Palace. Parliament, together with all the other activities proposed for St Elmo, as well as an adjoining five-star hotel instead of the unsightly Evans Laboratories, will give all Valletta the boost it needs." The House of Parliament should indeed be moved to the glorious historic Fort St Elmo where it would be adequately accommodated. The Royal Opera House should have been rebuilt long ago with its beautiful exterior, exactly as it was, and with its stage arrangements modified in accordance with the present exigencies. It is indeed a shame that the area has been left in the present state for so long. This has been an insult to that beautiful national monument and to the many Maltese lovers of grand opera and classical music. Incidentally, as regards the controversy concerning the relocation of the precious tapestries donated to St John's Co-Cathedral by Grand Master Ramon Perellos, I fully agree with the solutions proposed by Rev. Prof. Maurice Eminyan S.J. Surely Grand Master Perellos wanted that precious gift to be exposed in the conventual church to further embellish its beautiful central nave and not hung in a museum.


The GRTU this afternoon launched a stinging attack on the government’s plans to move Parliament to the site previously occupied by the Opera House. In so doing, the chamber said, “20 business establishments in Valletta are being sacked. They and their employees have a dismal future.” In its NewString publication, the GRTU said: “ Government has decided to spend €80m of the taxpayers` money so that our beloved members of parliament can deliver their services in a more comfortable building. “Valletta will now have a signature building and square by the famous architect Renzo Piano. This is good news. This is at the expense of business. This is bad news. “The project will rise from the entrance to the city built by gentlemen for gentlemen, into a city of policemen and soldiers guarding the almighty. “We now have all this sufferance in the main guard square as Parliament sits in the Palace and our honourable members expect the treatment previously devoted to the glorious knights. “Now they want to move up to the city entrance and you said that there is a recession and we need to spend our money on job creations and enterprise generating projects. “Did anyone mention roads, new harbour quays to bring in more cruise liners, more factory building to create jobs to replace the ones lost during the recession, new hotels, new airport facilities to bring in new tourists? “Oh no, Malta has €80m to spare and charity begins at home, we spend it all on the comfort of our members of parliament!"

The Times 4.12.2008


John Manduca, Mdina

The Times 6.1.2009

Eric Parnis (The Opera House Saga, December 30) was right to speak out about the need to re-build our Opera House where it belongs. It seems the Prime Minister has been misinformed about certain aspects of the controversy. Every European country has an Opera House of which it is proud. This is also true of the United States, Australia and South America. It was also true of our island in pre-war days when we took pride in Edward Barry's masterpiece first built in 1861. Interest in the arts and in opera has increased world-wide and re-building the Opera House would give pleasure not only to our fellow-countrymen but also to many of the 10,000 non-Maltese residing here and to the tourists who come on holiday. A Parliament, important though it is, is not looked upon with the same pleasure; the vulgarity and even the violence which shamed us during the era of 1971-1987 is still recalled. Is there some guarantee that these scenes will not reappear at some later stage, and be the first "welcome" to be seen and heard on entering our capital city? The majority would much rather listen to the delectable music of Verdi, Donizetti and Puccini, than to a parliamentarian perorating on something or other. In addition, parliamentarians are already housed in a palace, and the expenditure of a further €100 million will not be cheered by the taxpaying public who are finding it increasingly difficult to make both ends meet. Such knowledgeable people as tenor Joseph Calleja, Prof. Peter Serracino Inglott, Prof. Joe Friggieri, and former Tourism Minister Francis Zammit Dimech are among those who favour an Opera House. There are hundreds of others. Second thoughts, please.


Richard Lapira, Attard

The Times 6.1.2009

During the brief Sant administration in the 1990s, plans for the reconstruction of the entrance to Valletta, including the Opera House site, were drawn up and exhibited for public viewing at St James Cavalier. A visitors' book was also on hand and the public was invited to air its views in writing. That was a far cry from the present administration's diktat which arbitrarily informed the public of its intentions of building a parliament for its exclusive use. The present government, which won the last election by the skin of its teeth, should realise that democracy is not so much the building of a nice parliament on Valletta's prime site as consulting the public. As far as I am concerned, the public has already made its views known both in the press and on the net. More signatures and comments can be added to the petition online No To House of Parliament:


John Galea, Delray Beach, Florida, US

The Times 16.1.2009

When I was a teenager, my cousin and I used to go to Valletta and stroll up and down Kingsway, as it was known at the time, where everyone else used to go in the evening. As we walked along Kingsway, we used to see people going in and out of the Old Opera House to attend an opera or concert. My cousin and I used to say to each other, when we grow up and are able to afford a ticket we hope we will be part of the audience. Unfortunately, the war came and the Luftwaffe left the Opera House building in ruins, and our wishes never came true. After the war, when unemployment in Malta was high, everyone was leaving the island for Canada, Australia and the United States to seek work and earn a better living. If I am not mistaken, the German government compensated Malta to rebuild the Opera House, but the party that was in power at that time decided to use the money for something else and to this day the Opera House is still a memory. Now the present government wants to build the Parliament on the site of the Opera House, once the showcase of the Maltese. It is wrong for the government of any party to be so selfish as to take away the pride of the Maltese people in the Opera House by building a Parliament instead. I am sure if one looks around Valletta one will find a suitable location for Parliament. St Elmo is one such location, the market in Merchant Street and the Main Guard a couple of others. Do not steal the pride that the citizen once felt. After all, the Opera House belonged to all Maltese and not to those in power. I hope that whoever is behind this movement to build the Parliament instead of an Opera House will rethink their options. The people of Malta come first and the Parliament second. I strongly condemn the idea of building a Parliament and not an Opera House where the citizens of Malta can enjoy themselves as they once did.


Bernard A. Vassallo, Swieqi

The Times 28.1.2009

As for the double site of the destroyed Opera House or Theatre Royal (Teatru Rjal) and of the vast space mistakenly integrated in the project of a new box-like City Gate (Porta Reale, Putirjal), in my view a restored Opera House would still be the best option. If in 1945 this restoration of such as majestic and meaningful building had been undertaken, we wouldn't now be in a quandary, caused by the theatre built in the early 1980s at the Mediterranean Conference Centre. The prestige gained by the city of Valletta, and by Malta, would be well worth the risk of an expensive project of restoring the pre-war opera house. Almost any building would fill this too-long derelict site to some advantage. I have received a beautiful e-mail listing most world-wide known opera houses: London's Covent Garden, Milan's La Scala, Vienna's Burgtheater, Tunis's opera house built by the French, Buenos Aires's, and last but not least Dresden's Oper or opera house restored to its former grandeur by the DDR's communist regime, and Venice's gutted La Fenice completely restored. Opera houses lend prestige and grandeur to a city and a country. The opera house in Tunis lends prestige to this city as can be admired by all visitors to this interesting place. While Renzo Piano is a most valid and inventive architect, Malta has a designer of “classical” buildings including neo-baroque, who can spot architectural flaws from miles away. This is Innocent Centurino, who is known to possess a thorough knowledge of correct styles and details of building and architecture. Why don't the authorities hear his opinion, and appreciate his expertise? He is an asset of which few countries can boast. I feel that a new Parliament building on the ruined site would be flawed from the start, with the possibility of large political demonstrations putting this hazardous project at risk. A second use can be found for the theatre at the Mediterranean Conference Centre. And an old, traditional, restored use can be found for our national Opera House. Footing the bill is a problem that can be solved here in Malta, as in so many opera houses on the continents of Europe, Africa and of the Americas.


Kristian Bonnici, Fgura

The Times 30.1.2009

Building the House of Representatives instead of the Old Opera House site seems to be a little bit Pharaonic, and would go against the spirit of a Republic. Why? First, the people see that space as theirs. Moreover, the Maltese citizens' blind faith in the impeccability of their representatives seems to have diminished. Second, a democracy, which has its foundation in the culture of ancient Greece, ought to give space to the people's leisure just as the Athenian Assembly did for the Athenians. Leisure inspires creativity and innovations: two essential ingredients in further enhancing a democratic post-modern state. On the other hand if the House of Representatives is situated in such a place where everyone going to Valletta has to see it, it will always remind people of politics - Maltese politics. Now a shrewd Machiavellian politician would always alienate the people as much as possible and hence avoid putting such a symbol where a person entering the capital for shopping, business or work would feel it towering above him - Big Brother is watching you! I am vexed with the raison d'être of having parliament instead of an Opera House because the Mediterranean Conference Centre, the Manoel Theatre and St James Cavalier are not of the standard of a new millennium project. Presently, many Maltese are working abroad most notably in London and Brussels. My argument is that unlike the Maltese who left in the 1950s and 1960s, the Maltese working abroad today visit the archipelago more often, usually with their friends from abroad, have money to spend and might love to enjoy a night at the opera. The building of an Opera House coincides with the era of an international Maltese talent; renowned tenor Joseph Calleja, who deserves a better stage to perform in Malta. His contacts, image and international standing might immediately boost the theatre as an international one. An Opera House would mean more employment especially for people working in the field of culture. Malta is ideally situated for political conferences on the lines of the quoted strategic objectives. Hence, the dignitaries attending these conferences have to be also impressed and entertained to continue using the good offices of Malta. The island should eventually be transformed into a hub for dialogue whereby more similar offices would be sponsored, which would in turn generate employment and bring in money. In the realm of tourism, Malta is competing with titans in the littoral Mediterranean. Thus the tourist should be offered entertainment in all legal spheres. The same applies for the concept of Malta as a business conference centre. The money-loaded businessmen attending conferences in Malta might enjoy a night at the opera. Another reason that comes to mind is SmartCity and the eventuality of the continuation of attracting multinational companies. There again, as above, the CEOs, marketing managers, sales managers, PROs, IT. Engineers and the like have money to spend. Why should they travel to London for a musical? Hence an Opera House please, bigger and more opulent.


Simon A. Bonello, Floriana

The Times 3.2.2009

Turning the old Opera House site in Valletta into something other than an opera house is sheer madness. I can recall many Nationalist Party pre-electoral manifestos that promised the building of the Opera House. The Prime Minister should rethink.


Michael Bonnici, Zebbug

The Times 24.2.2009

Ten years ago, on January 12, 1999, Joe Debono Grech, from the Labour Party, and I, from the PN side, jointly suggested in Parliament (sitting no. 48) that the Dun Mikiel Xerri monument (at present in Independence Square) should be relocated to the other side of the Sette Giugno monument on St George's Square in Valletta. The then Education Minister Louis Galea, answering a question on March 2 of the same year, said that the Museums Department was having talks with other competent authorities about the suggestion. Ten years is way more than enough. Now is the opportune time to take a decision while preparations are in hand to rehabilitate Palace Square together with the underground car park. This particular square in our capital city is witness to our glorious political history. The two monuments opposite each other are a vivid testimony to two important events for our freedom and self-government. The other events are cast in marble on the façade of the Palace Square: our first Constitution and self-government, the award of the George Cross for galantry and freedom, Independence and the making of the Republic of Malta. Their records are in the Archives of the House of Representatives. That is why Parliament should remain in the proximity of this historical space and all in all this entire project should be part of the regeneration of Valletta.


Robert Arrigo

ILLUM 22.2.2009

It-Teatru Rjal jekk ikolli l-għażla nżommu teatru u mhux nagħmlu Parlament. Naqbel li l-Parlament bil-funzjoni li għandu għandu jkollu post differenti. Imma żgur mhux flok l-opera house.






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