Fabian Demicoli

The Valletta Piano Project – Vince Farrugia

 GRTU held a meeting on the 15th of February for all shop owners in City Gate, Freedom Square and under the ruins of the opera house to take stock of the situation given the stalemate reached between Government and a representative committee formed by delegates nominated by the GRTU and the Chamber of Commerce and the question of provision of alternative retail outlets for these shop owners  that will be removed under the Renzo Piano project.

 

As a result of this meeting a decision was taken on the criteria that should be used as a basis for negotiations with Government as it was imposing an early deadline for closure of these shops. The Honourable Jason Azzoppardi, Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the relocations accepted GRTU's invitation to meet on short notice and during discussions with the Parliamentary Secretary, the framework for a settlement was agreed to. Individual shop owners are now negotiating the conditions for the alternative sites being offered and in the absence of a suitable alternative, the compensation due to them according to the framework agreement worked out with the GRTU.

GRTU is also discussing separately with the Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Communication (MITC) the projects for the refurbishment and enhancement of the city gate shopping mall in Freedom Square, which will house many of the shop owners being evacuated from the other side of Freedom Square.

GRTU is also in detailed discussions with the Government and with the MITC on the impact of Governments projects on Valletta, including the Renzo Piano projects, the creation of new parking facilities, the new bus terminus and re-planning of the zone outside city gate, the review of the city gate project, the embellishment and paving projects and Governments plans for the whole of the grand harbour area.

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