Fabian Demicoli

GRTU Council member calls on PM to make amends to the injustice created by his Government

During a meeting held this week for
Valletta shops with the Prime Minister GRTU Council Member and owner of a
Valletta retail outlet Therese Fenech Azzopardi explained to the Prime Minister
what a difficult situation they have put businesses in with the Rent Reform.

She said that shops that have been
renting from the private sector prior to 1995 were very disappointed with the
reformed Rent Law which has put them in a position that in 17 years time they
will have to pass on the keys of the shop they have for so many years been
running and building to the property owner. To add insult to injury they have
not even given them the right of first refusal and most of those affected to
not even know this!

‘The majority of Valletta shops that
are Government owned have been given 45 years and the facility to sublet. In
comparison to how the others are being treated is a big injustice and we feel
we are treated as second class citizens by this Government. Our situation today
is that we cannot even pass on the shop to our children as after the 17 years
they will find themselves without a job. There is no incentive being put
forward by Government to help us and taking out loans for our shops is
impossible as we have nothing in front of the banks.'

The Prime Minister replied saying
that the right of first refusal can be considered but there is the European Law
that we have to regard in these circumstances. There must be some sort of
agreement with the lessor to reach a balance between the property owner and the
tenant. The Prime Minister continued saying that the report that establishes
the rent that must be paid for shops according to its position and dimensions
under Hon Chris Said has arrived to a conclusion. This study should now be
close to final.

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