PN wants Gozo's status as regional island in Constitution
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PN wants Gozo's status as regional island in Constitution

Would be voting against authority

The authority the government is proposing will not have executive powers, Dr Delia said.

The authority the government is proposing will not have executive powers, Dr Delia said.

The Opposition wants to enshrine Gozo as a regional island in the Constitution enabling Gozitans to get the executive powers to take their own decisions about the island.

Addressing a news conference on Tuesday, Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia said the Opposition wanted to set up a regional council for Gozo that would be elected directly by Gozitans and would have executive powers on all that affected Gozo and its development. It would also be given adequate finances including from European funds.

The Labour government was, on the other hand, setting up an authority for the regional development of Gozo which authority was to be controlled by the minister.

A Bill setting up the authority was currently being debated in Parliament.

Dr Delia said the authority was not what Gozo and the Gozitans deserved. Such an authority would not empower Gozitans to take their own decisions but the minister would keep taking decisions on their behalf.

The authority would be appointed directly by the minister and it would take over from the government enforcement responsibilities. It would not have executive powers or finances to implement projects.

Dr Delia said this showed yet again that the government was not interested in Gozitans and wanted to continue to take decisions for Gozo. This was not what Gozo deserved so the Opposition would be voting against the authority.

In a reply, the Gozo Ministry said the Nationalist Party’s position was hindering the development of Gozo and Gozitans.

For through the authority, Gozitans would be ensured of sustainable development, more jobs and economic growth in line with a planned strategy that would take the island to 2030.

The authority would have a central and executive role in all this and would revise this plan every three years to ensure sustainable development that would safeguard the island’s natural environment.

Gozo was currently enjoying an unprecedented number of visitors which was growing and the unemployment rate was among the lowest to have ever been registered. All this could be sustained through the authority, the ministry said.

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