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Air-link, clean energy ferry planned for Gozo

Air-link, clean energy ferry planned for Gozo

PM and Labour Party Leader Robert Abela announced record EU funds and connectivity improvements for the smaller Maltese island

Over the coming years, Gozo will be recipient of a record amount of European funds while simultaneously witnessing the implementation of ambitious connectivity projects. Ultimately, this will improve the quality of life for Gozitans, Malta’s prime Minister and Labour Party Leader, Robert Abela, said during a meeting on Saturday with local residents on the sidelines of the ‘Inġeddu Malta Flimkien’ conference.

Three main pillars

Abela said, as quoted by TVM, that the government’s strategy for Gozo rests on three main pillars: digital transition, investment for Gozo becoming carbon neutral and upgrading the quality of life.

The PM announced that the Government is in consultation with stakeholders to strengthen connectivity between Malta and Gozo through an air-link project. At the same time he made it clear that the planned airstrip and adjacent infrastructure will not be built on agricultural land.

Abela also said that sea communication to the smaller island will be enhanced by ferry operator Gozo Channel, which will add to its fleet a fourth vessel running on clean energy.

Addressing public fears that Gozo, like Malta, might become victim of overconstruction, the PM said that building development should continue but in a sustainable manner as shown by measures already taken.

Climate change is proving to be a great challenge, outstripping even the challenges brought by the pandemic, Abela said. So, another ambitious goal for Gozo is to become the first carbon-free locality in the Maltese archipelago. Also, for the first time Gozo will have autonomy in its water supply provision, the Prime Minister assured.

Record EU funding

Regarding EU Funds, Abela said that over the coming seven years Gozo is to be allocated EUR 162 million earmarked for projects and initiatives. In his words, this amount surpasses by EUR 50 million the financial frame previously negotiated by a Nationalist Government.

In conclusion, the PM informed that the refuse dump at Qortin has been transformed into a park with an investment of EUR 3 million. The park, which is similar to the one that exists at Wied Fulija in Żurrieq, will be inaugurated in the coming weeks.

Political sparring

Abela’s latest announcements for Gozo can be interpreted in the context of the new political season kicking off in earnest on the eve of Independence Day. The leaders of the two main political parties (Labour’s Robert Abela and his PN adversary Bernard Grech) will hold separate rallies today conditioned by Covid-19 protocols.

The mass gathering in Ta’ Qali will draw the curtain on a four-day, policy-fine tuning general conference of the Labour Party. Meanwhile, in his first mass event since becoming leader of the Nationalist Party last year, Grech will rally supporters in Floriana for change within the party and the country.

September 2022 is the next general election deadline, but the more likely period for the polls will be between March and May next year, Malta Today writes in an analysis of the political situation.

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