The GRTU Malta Chamber for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises is concerned at remarks the Hon Dr Alfred Sant Leader of the Opposition Labour Party is reported to have made at his visit to the Valletta Monti Hawkers in Freedom Square this morning.
The GRTU Malta Chamber for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises is concerned at remarks the Hon Dr Alfred Sant Leader of the Opposition Labour Party is reported to have made at his visit to the Valletta Monti Hawkers in Freedom Square this morning. During his visit the Leader of the Opposition is reported to have assured Monti Hawkers that a Labour Government would be willing to relocate the Monti to its former site in Merchants Street between Old Theatre Street and St John Street. He is also reported to have said that should the hawkers wish to, he would be prepared to relocate them to other areas in Valletta they would deem appropriate. GRTU has on several occasions on behalf of traders and retailers, stated clearly the reasons why the Monti should no longer set up in Merchants Street between Old Theatre Street and St John Street. GRTU also stated in an open letter yesterday addressed to the Hon Austin Gatt, Minister for Investment, Industry and Information Technology, the reasons why GRTU believes that it is wrong for government to re-site the open air Monti in an important part of Valletta’s commercial centre as is this important section of Merchant Street. GRTU cannot continue to tolerate the loss of business suffered by the commercial community that has invested, and is willing to invest further to sustain the Valletta commercial centre. GRTU on behalf of the commercial community of Valletta cannot but express publicly its regret that in spite of GRTU’s publicly stated strong opposition to the pretensions of the Monti Hawkers, the Leader of the Opposition appears to have ignored our position entirely and declared his support for the status quo without evaluating correctly what is the true interest of all investors in the area and the true interest of Valletta as Malta’s Capital City. This area is a fundamental and crucial part of the commercial core of our Capital City. GRTU has consistently participated in all consultation sessions organised by the Malta Labour Party in preparation for its policy documents and GRTU cannot understand why on this issue, so vital for many GRTU members, the Leader of Opposition preferred to ignore completely the stand of GRTU, Malta’s National representative of the Retailing Community. GRTU augurs that the comments of the Honourable Dr Sant will not be taken as conclusive prior to consultation with GRTU. GRTU once again publicly states that the site identified for the outdoor market in the government’s 2005 white paper on Valletta is amply appropriate for this use and would benefit the hawkers themselves as much as the rest of the commercial community in Valletta.