Fabian Demicoli

GRTU, MSBCA & RSBCA join forces

The Business Community of Valletta represented by: 

  • The Chamber of Small and Medium Size Enterprises (GRTU);
  • The Merchants Street Business Community Association; and
  • The Republic Street Business Community Association.

 

 

 

wishes to comment on the current controversy over the Monti.


 

The Business Community of Valletta represented by: 

  • The Chamber of Small and Medium Size Enterprises (GRTU);
  • The Merchants Street Business Community Association; and
  • The Republic Street Business Community Association.

 wishes to comment on the current controversy over the Monti.            The facts as we know them are as follows: 

  1. For several years the presence of the Monti in Merchants Street between Old Theatre Street and St John Street has been unsightly and generally unsuitable for the business in Valletta. The Monti has reduced accessibility to outlets in that area and has strongly reduced the visibility of an important component of Valletta’s (and Malta’s) architectural and urban heritage.

 

  1. For several years we have argued with the authorities for the relocation of the Monti.

 

  1. During 2005, the government, represented by the Ministry for Investment, Industry and Information Technology, formally asked for our views on the possible relocation of the Monti. The government proposed relocation to another portion of Merchants Street between Old Theatre Street and Archbishop Street. All of our organisations expressed strong support for these proposals. We continue to support this policy fully.

 

  1. The relocation of the Monti is happening in the context of a full strategy for Valletta which followed a two-year process of thorough consultation with us and with our members. We support the changes happening in Valletta because we participated fully in their preparation and were constantly invited by its planners within the government to give our views.

 Furthermore we would like to make the following additional remarks: 

  1. We are especially concerned at the damage done not only to their own activity but also to the entire commercial landscape of Valletta by the aggressive protests of the Monti hawkers. We have witnessed acts of intimidation and undue pressure by people acting on their behalf especially in the process of collecting signatures for a petition purportedly in support of their protest.

 

  1. It is our view that there is space for Monti hawkers in Valletta. The space identified by the government is amply adequate and the current spate of protest is spiteful, pointless and damaging to the Monti hawkers themselves and the rest of our city.

 

  1. Street protests, strikes and public manifestations of the sort indulged in during the last few days are not the way of making one’s voice heard in our modern democracy. We are especially concerned with the decision of the Leader of the Opposition to appear to encourage by his presence these sort of public manifestations that attempt to compensate for lack of argument and reason with noise and threats. This does not augur well for the Leader of the Opposition’s views on the way our democracy should function in our time.

 

  1. Also with reference to the Leader of the Opposition’s remarks we feel we must insist that should the Malta Labour Party be considering changes to the Valletta strategy with which we feel we form part and to which we have secured the government’s commitment, it should undertake at least as thorough and as open a consultation process as the government has accorded us during the past three years.

 Finally we announce a joint Extraordinary General Meeting of all our organisations tomorrow at 9.00am in the offices of the GRTU in Republic Street, Valletta where we will be advising our members of actions we will be taking to protect their interests against the hostile aggression they have been facing during the past few days.  

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