Money Talks – Money Walks – By Lino DeBono
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“In the old days local people had a saying, “Money Talks and Money Walks,” we didn’t really understand the true meaning when we were young, but as one grows older these phrases become crystal clear. There are two sets of rules. One for the common law abiding people – the other for the powerful and wealthy, this situation has been so since the creation of humanity.
Who says that crime doesn’t pay? Say a person breaks every set of rules and due to this becomes extremely rich. People may say that this person is a crook, but when his children graduate from University with a Degree, they will become Dr or Sir. The former abuser will also become Mr, etc. The past will then be forgotten and people will start recognising this person as an upstanding wealthy man with a good business.
Hiring good expensive lawyers – financial people – Influencing people in high places, will then become the order of the day. Financial contributions to charities and/or political parties will cement this influence even further.
The ordinary person who cannot legally obtain permits on their property will suddenly discover that the permits will be magically issued as soon as this other person purchases their property.
What the normal citizen simply cannot accept is the giving away of huge areas of public lands for peanuts to private individuals or companies for next to nothing, millions are then be made by the powerful few at the citizens expense. Many large tracts of land have been given away like this under previous administrations and also under this present one.
This is outright robbery of people’s property which I believe no authority or government has any right, legally or morally, to give away. Public land belongs to the people, not to any administration or government, indeed governments are there to administer, not to throw or give away people’s property.
When both governments issued calls for the “White Rocks Area” many years ago, no one volunteered to buy these areas for the asking price. Why?
Then on the other hand we learn from the media that large tracts of land in outside development areas are being issued for Petrol Stations – Car Washes – Restaurants – Bars. etc. etc. Many are asking what do restaurants and other amenities have to do with petrol stations? Are these these not considered as “speculations?”
Building permits are being issued left, right and centre, both in Malta and now Gozo, people are saying, if you want a difficult permit to be issued go to such and such a person.
Also whilst the Local Council and the Land Department declare that they have issued no permits, the Planning Authority issues permits which allow windows and doors to open and have access to public property which is denied to local people.
Another controversy in Gozo was the issuing of a permit for the installation of lights in a restaurant at Dwejra. Apart from initially opening without any permits, completely against all advice and complaints by heritage parties, this lights permit was still issued.
I ask on behalf of many Gozitans and Maltese for the Authorities to take heed of what local residents are saying and withdraw these abusive permits immediately.
Rape and Monies Madness
Our Islands are passing through a strong and good economic phase, the likes of which we have never ever experienced before and people in the streets now have more money in their pockets. Due to this, the Killer Whales – Sharks – Hyenas – Wolves and all manner of other predatory animals are now out to make a killing.
They prey on the normal working class and once they make their first million, they just go crazy to make their second – third and tenth millions. Their thirst is just unsatiated. The more they make – the more they want.
Lawyers – Architects – Accountants – Contractors – Builders – all of these stay on the fringes to make sure they get their share. Developers of properties are not satisfied with a moderate take, but squeeze with all their might the local people who come under their sphere.
Rents are now becoming absolutely out of reach for the common working people. But these developers couldn’t care less. The more they manage to squeeze – the more money goes into their pockets.
The situation is getting completely out of hand, our Islands are experiencing so much indifference to any kind of law and order, that is not only becoming ridiculous but also extremely dangerous to people’s health and well-being.
Not one, but three buildings came down because contractors are not keeping to the regulations, laws and instruction and the authorities also seem to be indifferent. One section is not responsible for another section. From Caifas to Pilatus and back again. The normal citizen is being crucified as was Jesus but only in another different way.
Bars – Restaurants and Illegal Stands are being built – access to public promenades are also being taken over by bars and restaurants, people have to walk in the streets with the consequence of being run over by vehicles. Authorities – the general public know all about these abuses, except for the relevant authorities.
The general public is crying out for the existent laws to be observed both by these people and also the relevant authorities, who supposedly are there to protect the normal citizen. So why aren’t the laws and regulations being observed? People expect order and common decency for one and all.
The free market is good if it is under control, but it is not at present, instead the law of the jungle has been allowed to take over. Old historical palaces – houses – gardens of intrinsic value are being taken down. A two metre petrol station has asked for and will most probably be given permission, to build another petrol station with a restaurant and car wash in an area larger than a football pitch.
This situation is simply outrageous for the normal law-abiding citizen, and such permits should be stopped immediately.
Outside Development Zones
The Outside Development Zones issued in 2006 under a Nationalist Administration, as had been issued by the then Government – can also be withdrawn by the present one. People are not happy about green areas being built up and any breathing open zones developed just because a former minister took pen to paper – drew a circle on the map and gave just a few people the right to build whole villages.
This for me and many others is a complete farce and goes against everything that a normal law-abiding citizen believes to be right and proper.
Whilst I once again reiterate that living in Malta and Gozo is much better and in harmony than in previous years, all of these issues mentioned above are causing widespread anxiety and disharmony with local citizens.
So let those who have ears to listen, those who have eyes to see, those who can write to put pen to paper or say out loud and clear – Stop this Destruction of our Island!”
Former Labour Member of Parliament.