PL's MEPA plans will be problematic - Mario De Marco
The PL’s MEPA reforms are irresponsible, Minister for Tourism, Culture and the Environment Mario De Marco said this evening in a press conference.
Splitting the environmental side from the development side will result in no environmental consideration, the Minister explained. “Yes, this has worked in certain countries, but only where development permits are granted on regional levels. Introducing this in Malta will create more bureaucracy”. The Minister presented documents by the Today Public Policy Institute's think-tank in 2008, which read that it is advantageous for MEPA to contain both sides. Referring to the idea of splitting off the environmental section, Dr De Marco asked "Is Dr muscat doing this to look good with environmentalists or developers? Because you cannot keep both happy."
The Minister explained that when the Prime Minister had ordered a reformation of MEPA, he based it on accountability, efficiency, consistency and enforcement. He added that although there is still work to be done MEPA is on track, continuing that the PL's idea of introducing one environmentalist into a board of fifteen will not make much of a difference.
Dr De Marco described a number of the PL’s proposals, particularly focussing on expired permits, which were already mentioned by the PN.
When asked about the over-development of residential developments, Dr De Marco expressed a number of plans which will entice people to rent properties. Concluding, he argued that MEPA will never be seen as ‘the good guy’ by both environmentalists and developers but rather must make decisions in the interest of the country.