Category Archives: Press Release

Policy loopholes should be closed not abused by politicians

Partit Demokratiku finds it scandalous that Toni Bezzina, co-author of PN’s newly launched environment working policy document, tried to make use of existing loopholes in a policy which came into force in 2014, rather than addressing the loopholes. The reason why he has been able to file an application for a development which was then unearthed by the partisan news outlet ONE was due to a loophole which is not yet addressed in the rural development guidelines policy. Partit Demokratiku feels that it is very unfortunate that when the PN showed signs of willing to protect our environment, one of its co authors’ intention was not to walk the talk. Whilst it may be clearly allowed by law, it requires an extra effort in order to restore trust in the party. Leader of the Democratic Party and Member of Parliament Marlene Farrugia said that ‘it is very unfortunate that our countrymen are constantly being reminded that the two main political parties have no qualms about making promises they know they will break.’
Stqarrija Stampa 16.02.2017
Bezzina jurihom id-debba u jqabbżilhom il-ħmara. Il-Partit Demokratiku jinsab skandaliżżat bil-fatt li l-On. Toni Bezzina, wieħed mill-awturi tad-dokument tal-politika ambjentali tal-Partit Nazzjonalista, flokk għalaq it-toqob li jstgħu jwasslu għall-abbuż f’din il-politika għamel użu mill-istess toqob huwa stess. Ir-raġuni għalfejn l-On. Bezzina seta jitfa’ l-applikazzjoni tiegħu li iktar tard ġiet mikxufa b’skopp partiġjan mill-midja tal-Labour, setgħet issir minħabba regolamenti li ġew fis-seħħ fl-2014. U taħt liema jintefgħu diversi applikazzjonijiet. Il-Partit Demokratiku juri ddispjaċir tiegħu illi filwaqt il-Partit Nazzjonalista kien beda juri rieda tajba fejn jidħol l-ambjent, wieħed mill-awturi ta’ dokument tiegħu naqas milli jġib ruħu b’mod li juri differenti. Filwaqt li l-linji gwida jgħatu lok għal tali żvilupp, in-nies hemm barra jistennew iktar mill-politiċi tagħhom biex dawn verament juru r-rieda tajba favur l-ambjent u ma jagħmlux użu minn loopholes eżistenti. Il-Kap tal-Partit Demokratiku u Membru Parlamentari, Marlene Farrugia żiedet tgħid li ‘hi ta’ sfortuna kbira li n-nies qegħdin il-ħin kollhu juruhom id-debba waqt li jkollhom diga l-hmara lesta biex iqabbzuhielhom. L-aġir tal-politiċi stess qiegħed juri li l-partiti lesti li jiksru kelmthom daqs tazza ilma.’

Remove Draconian Laws that Muzzle the Press.

Whilst it is understandable that a precautionary warrant might be filed in commercial cases, it is totally unacceptable that a precautionary warrant be filed in libel cases. Notwithstanding one’s opinion of the journalist in question and whether or not one agrees or disagrees with the opinion or political views of a journalist, we should always defend free press. Muzzling or attempting to muzzle free press does not bode well in a modern, civilised society. Free press is one of the few checks and balances we still have in place.
Partit Demokratiku reiterates its stance that criminal libel has no place in modern and civilised societies. It is also worrying that there is only one magistrate presiding over the court in front of which criminal libel cases are presented. Criminal libel cases take long to be decided and the stories are often forgotten. Anthony Buttigieg, PD’s deputy leader said that “No matter your opinion of a journalist, no matter if you agree with them, their politics or opinions, if we do not defend the free press, our democracy will begin slipping down a very slippery slope. Daphne may be able to afford to have thousands of euros locked in her bank account for years. But what about less affluent journalists – be they pro-PN, pro-PL or independent? This move will effectively muzzle them. With an emasculated opposition and a judiciary appointed in large part according to their political leanings, the free press is one of the few checks and balances we have left.” “It is high time, that we take deeply evaluate and revamp our libel and defamation laws. Such draconian laws have been used in the past and are still being used in the present to appease those who are willing to abuse of such laws” PD’s Public Relations Officer Monique Agius said. Partit Demokratiku would like to remind the government that the removal of criminal libel was promised by this administration. Partit Demokratiku believes in the freedom of speech and has faith in journalistic checks and balances. Thus if government fails to deliver its promise, Partit Demokratiku intends to present a private member’s bill.

The public has the right to know.

Partit Demokratiku would like to express disappointment at how things are being conducted by the current Labour administration. They promised transparency yet government has never been so opaque. Yesterday, Hon. Marlene Farrugia, leader of the Democratic Party, asked the Prime Minister to explain why the land transfer of ITS site was carried out without a parliamentary resolution. The request was heeded to and this will take place today.
The Democratic Party feels that the people have the right to know what deals are taking place behind closed doors. Given that the Paceville master plan, warranted a video and a number of discussions unlike the sale of the ITS site, yet was eventually shelved due to it being a marketing exercise rather than a serious and objective plan to improve the quality of life of the residents and able to deliver a better business environment for existing companies. Partit Demokratiku is disappointed at the way, this contract was signed prior to the completion of either the master plan and the local plan. It therefore brings us to question whether the local plan and master plan will be objectively designed and, after the necessary studies have been carried out, whether they will also be tweaked in a manner to accommodate the developers. This project lacked a ‘development brief’ and had only one bidder participating for this project.
The Democratic Party, on behalf of the people, asks the government to inform us exactly how much will be spent from taxpayers’ money on the infrastructure to support this project. We also call on the government to give their word that no part of the foreshore will be privatised, and that the general public will have access to the beach. No part of the beach should be privatised for profit. The Democratic Party would also like to ask the government to give the people a clear breakdown of the expenses involved in the relocation of the ITS site. Given that the new ITS will be a public private partnership venture, Partit Demokratiku asks the government if the education provided by ITS will remain free or will it eventually be privatised? Partit Demokratiku once again calls for a National Master Plan for high-rise developments, adequate and holistic sustainability studies, social and environmental impact assessment, as well as proper valuation of the infrastructural and transport development required to back up such a project, which will ultimately be financed out of our people’s pockets. This decision taken on our behalf by Projects Malta, which does not enjoy the nation’s trust, amounts to betrayal of our National Interest by those we entrusted with its protection. Partit Demokratiku feels that the public has the right to know more. We need long-term sustainable plans, not short-term gains for the few.

Partit Demokratiku supports KNŻ’s call for an immediate parliamentary debate.

Partit Demokratiku supports KNŻ’s call for an immediate parliamentary debate.
Partit Demokratiku’s leader Hon. Marlene Farrugia and Hon. David Agius from Partit Nazzjonalista have presented a motion to the speaker of the house back in September so that the constitution is amended to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in both the general election and the election for MEPs.
Partit Demokratiku supports KNŻ, ADŻ, FŻL, MŻPN, Pulse and SDM’s call for an immediate parliamentary debate. Partit Demokratiku believes that such a right should not be delayed to after the upcoming election. Youths have already been granted a right to vote in local council elections. It is time to take it a step further and grant voting rights to 16 and 17 year olds for the upcoming elections. If youths are fit to vote for local councils, then they are also fit to participate in elections which will have a greater impact on their future.
Stqarrija Stampa 
Il-Partit Demokratiku juri s-sapport tiegħu mal-KNŻ fis-sejħa tal-istess kunsill għal-dibatittu immedjat fil-parlament.
L-On. Marlene Farrugia, il-Kap tal-Partit Demokratiku flimkien mal-On. David Agius preżentaw flimkien mozzjoni quddiem l-ispeaker tal-kamra ta’ deputati li fiha hemm sejħa biex tiġi emendata l-konstituzzjoni biex b’hekk żgħażagħ ta’ 16 u 17-il sena jkunu jistgħu jivvottaw fl-elezzjoni ġenerali kif ukoll fl-elezzjonijiet tal-MEPs.
Il-Partit Demokratiku jixtieq juri s-sapport tiegħu mal-għaqdiet politiċi kemm studenteski u dawk ta’ żgħażagħ li iktar tard is-sena l-oħra talbu li jkun hemm dibatittu parlamentari immedjat. Il-Partit Demokratiku jemmen li d-dritt tal-vot ma għandux jiġi mċaħħad liż-żgħażagħ u li dawn għandhom ikollhom d-dritt li jivvuttaw fl-elezzjoni li ġejja. Iż-żgħażagħ ta’ 16-il sena diġa jistgħu jivuttaw fl-elezzjonijiet tal-kunsilli lokali. Ġaladarba nemmnu fihom u nafdahom bid-dritt tal-vot f’dawn l-elezzjonijet, il-Partit Demokratiku jemmen li għandhom ikunu fdati bid-dritt tal-vot għall-elezzjonijiet ġenerali. Malta tinsab f’salib it-toroq, u żgħażagħ għandhom dritt jesprimu ruħhom f’elezzjoni li ġejja li se jkollha impatt kbir iktar tard fuq il-futur ta’ dawn l-istess żgħażagħ.

Public land for sale – 70% discount

Partit Demokratiku demands the government to come clean on the sale of the ITS building. This is because the same land is valued at approximately €212 million in the Paceville masterplan which states that land comprising part of the ITS site and the Corinthia Marina Hotel was valued at €8,500 per square metre. The authors of the report indicated that the valuation prices for eventual expropriation were “provided by Malta Government”.
Partit Demokratiku asks the government to disclose information related to the negotiations whether they have come to an end or not. The people deserve to know if the site is being sold for a pittance given that it is public land. It is also of public interest to have the total figure of how much, we, the taxpayers, and people living on the Maltese Islands will be forking out, to pay for the relocation of ITS, the building of the infrastructure in the new project, and loss on the sale of ITS. It is also important to keep in mind that the government will be paying for the relocation of ITS. In the past the Prime Minister has referred to himself as being a good salesman. This sale might make him a good salesman, for his pre-electoral deals, but a terrible statesman and not fit to be a prime minister, given that he is not even bothering to protect public interests and our heritage for the generations to come.
Partit Demokratiku asks the government if his pre-electoral deals have led the current government to become the salesman for subsidizing millionaires to become multimillionaires? Has he forgotten his ‘tagħna lkoll promises’? And shelved them just like he was made to shelve the sham Paceville masterplan which was not an objective and fair exercise but a public relations exercise of a supposedly ‘gvern li jisma’? And since the Paceville Masterplan has been shelved, on what basis will the development happen? Are the local plans going to be modified in a way to accommodate this development which is of private gain?
Partit Demokratiku condemns the irresponsibility and nonchalance with which the Labour government is disposing of the country’s silver. In the absence of a National Master Plan for highrise developments, adequate and holistic sustainability studies, social and environmental impact assessment, as well as proper valuation of the infrastructural and transport development required to back up such a project , which will ultimately be financed out of our people’s pockets, this decision taken on our behalf by Projects Malta which does not enjoy the nation’s trust, amounts to betrayal of our National Interest, by those we entrusted with its protection.