The end result of a Mepa board meeting yesterday was that the period for the testing of the new (BWSC) extension to the Delimara power station has been extended by a year to the end of June 2013. This has been necessitated because of some delays in installing the new equipment but more because the monitoring board set up by Mepa, which includes a representative of four neighbouring local councils as well as Enemalta, has commissioned the University of Bristol and this has required a full six-month monitoring of the extension. About this extension, there was broad agreement not just in the Mepa board but also among those who attended the meeting. But at one point, the mayor of Birzebbuga, Joseph Farrugia, rose to introduce a reality check into proceedings. He roundly blamed the Mepa board for polluting his hometown (‘Nittintuna’). The same could be said by residents of nearby Marsaxlokk. The smell is that of tar. He smelt it first at Qajjenza and at first did not connect it to the power station. Now it is being smelt all over the town. It is a cloying smell and one can hardly breathe. Yesterday morning, he smelt the same odour and people could not even walk on the promenade and had to keep their windows shut.(independent.com.mt) A decision is never easy to make, but do not abuse.
Dissenting MPs banned from contesting on PN ticket
he Nationalist Party decided yesterday that rebel MPs Franco Debono, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando and Jesmond Mugliett will be banned from contesting the next general election on the PN ticket. Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi addressed a press conference at the end of a meeting of the party’s executive committee yesterday evening, saying that it had been decided that Dr Debono, Dr Pullicino Orlando and Mr Mugliett would not be allowed to contest the next general election. The executive also decided that it would be discussing the case of the outgoing EU ambassador Richard Cachia Caruana during a special meeting on Tuesday. “The case will be closed on Tuesday and a decision will be taken,” he said. Dr Pullicino Orlando is claiming that Mr Cachia Caruana colluded with the 1996-1998 Labour administration “in an attempt to further his personal interests, whilst putting his colleagues in the Nationalist administration led by Dr Fenech Adami between 1987 and 1996 in a bad light.” The MP also alleged that the EU ambassador colluded with high-ranking officials representing foreign states in a clear attempt to bypass the Nationalist Party parliamentary group and the Maltese parliament, and that he fomented the unrest “which has led to the difficulties being faced by our leader, Dr Lawrence Gonzi, both within our party and in parliament.” The prime minister also referred to the letter that Dr Debono sent to the president of the executive committee – in which he requested that he be given the opportunity to make a presentation about the executive’s decision to condemn him and the two other MPs – saying that Dr Debono would be given the opportunity to make his case in the first formal meeting after next Tuesday’s.(independent.com.mt) When one is in power, all sharing the problems and benefits as well.
With Austin Gatt in Cabinet I will not support the government - Franco Debono
Nationalist MP Franco Debono declared this evening that in spite of his attempts to be reconciliatory with the Nationalist Party in recent weeks, Minister Austin Gatt clearly wanted confrontation and “with him in Cabinet I will not support the government.” He said he was taking this stand since it was Dr Gatt who, during the party's execicutve committee yesterday, was the most vociferous in opposing his candidature on grounds of having abstained in the public transport no confidence vote against him. With today's declaration, Dr Debono was taking the step he took yesterday when he said he did not know what he would do in Parliament although it would be difficult to support the government, a step further. He made his statement yesterday after the PN's executive banned him and fellow MPs Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando and Jesmond Mugliett from contesting the next election. Dr Debono said this afternoon that this confrontation was uncalled for, especially with regards to Dr Pullicino Orlando and Mr Mugliett, who had already declared they would not contest the election. He said he never said he wanted to contest, and had even resigned from the party, but he had wanted to work on the implementation of reforms he had campaigned for end this legislature on good terms with the party and had been very reconciliatory following his vote with Labour in their motion against former Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici. The Nationalist MP said it was pay-back time for Austin Gatt who was getting his own back at him for abstaining in a motion of no confidence against him because of the Arriva disaster. Dr Debono said he had also criticised him after the BWSC heavy fuel oil fiasco. “Had he had the basic decency to resign after his two major fiascos in three years and after the Prime Minister asked him to resign from Cabinet to direct the party's electoral campaign, I would not have had to abstain.” Everyone in Malta remembered that before he (Dr Debono) had taken that stand, Dr Gatt had been making fun of everyone and shirking responsibility, he said.(timesofmalta.com) The Maltese political situation looks like a rain shower particularly strong.