Fabian Demicoli

GRTU discusses long-standing issues afflicting Gozo businesses during its mission in Gozo

The GRTU Executive Council and management team embarked on a mission that brought them closer to the reality of Gozo based businesses.
 
During a day that was specifically focused on Gozo GRTU’s top management team held meetings with Gozitan entrepreneurs as well as the Gozo Business Chamber.
 
High on the agenda was the issue of accessibility of Gozo. Gozo businesses expressed their concern that the permanent link project between Malta and Gozo was earmarked to take very long to be completed and when considering the dire situation they were in, any unnecessary delay meant irreversible damage.
 
Gozitan enterprises still do not feel that the accessibility issue of Gozo is a priority for our politicians. They are facing a reality where it is immensely difficult and close to impossible for them to do business in Gozo and the decision makers are not concerned with the problems afflicting Gozo.
 
Whilst appreciating that an environmental assessment is necessary, this should be carried out within specific and justifiable timeframes. The environment should not be used as an excuse to postpone projects that were needed yesterday.
 
They therefore expect Government to make all the necessary effort and focus on finding solutions and not excuses as to why the project should be further delayed. Government needs to come up with a reasonable timeframe and project management proposal that would be agreed upon through consultation and endorsed by social partners representing businesses.
 
GRTU stated that following a presentation by Prof Gordon Cordina GRTU was not only convinced that Gozo needs a permanent link but it is also fully backing its members. GRTU will be lobbying the Government to achieve the desired results.
 
GRTU invited the stakeholders to join forces with the GRTU to increase pressure to speed up the permanent link project and to find solutions that would improve accessibility conditions in the immediate. Businesses cannot wait over 10 more years for something to be done, there are short to medium term solutions that would help them survive the interim and these must be implemented.
 
The permanent link is not an end in itself. Gozo requires a number of drastic measures to become the thriving economy everyone hopes for. Accessibility is however the main measure that will help other initiatives become effective. Without the permanent link any measure will be weak because its potential can only be reached with increased accessibility.
 
Gozitan enterprises also expressed their concern on the political situation. They said that the Government and the opposition are wasting precious time bickering instead of investing time to tackle important business issues that have been shelved for too long.
 
During its visit GRTU took a number of its member’s proposals and will be following these up accordingly.
 
Part of the activity also included a discussion on changes to update the GRTU Statute as well as a team building activity to lay forward a strategy for the organization.

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