Press Release 28 June 2009

The environmental NGOs BirdLife Malta, Din l-Art Ħelwa, Flimkien Għal Ambjent Aħjar, Friends of the Earth Malta, Gaia Foundation, Nature Trust Malta and the Ramblers Association today slammed the Siggiewi Mayor Perit Musumeci for his request for the police to investigate FAA Coordinator Astrid Vella.

The NGOs stated that the authorities should investigate the notorious planning applications from the Mayor’s district that went against the MEPA policies and were approved by MEPA boards, and not environmental campaigners who brought these cases to the public’s attention.

The NGOs drew attention to the fact that in 2005 alone Mr. Musumeci, who is an architect and the Siġġiewi mayor, had 23 planning applications most of which were outside development zones in Siġġiewi, were recommended for refusal by MEPA planning officers but were approved by different boards within the authority. There were also several other similar cases since 2005. This means that MEPA boards approved planning applications that were against the Authority’s own policies, the NGOs charged.

The NGOs asked if the authorities have initiated investigations about Mr. Musumeci’s private business activities during the period he has been the Mayor of Siġġiewi.

“Mr. Musumeci should set an example as a mayor and is obliged to adhere to a strict code of ethics as established by the Local Councils Act. Instead he seems to be using technicalities to replace ethical considerations on environment, and deploying bullying tactics to silence environmental campaigners” NGOs concluded.