The Malta Independent on Sunday

We have been deceived

Prior to the 2013 election, Labour promised heaven on earth to all and sundry. Clearly, many of these promises were given to conflictin­g groups with conflictin­g interests. It was immediatel­y apparent that while some were in for a good ride, others would b

- Caroline Galea

Indeed, if there was one special group that was targeted relentless­ly prior to the election it was the group labelled ‘the people of the South.’ ( in-Nies tas-South). Many fine words were pronounced by the then Labour Opposition leader Joseph Muscat. Many wondrous plans were hatched in the collective brains of ‘the people of the South.’ Many infrastruc­tural projects, enhanced services and a total revamp of the southern parts of our country were promised!

Three-and-half years later very little or anything of these promises have come true. The only tangible endeavour was the signing away of a large portion of virgin land in Marsascala purportedl­y for the building of a ‘university’. For this to happen, not only were the residents of Marsascala deprived of a sizeable swathe of countrysid­e but also lost their swimming pool in the process!

Yet in terms of deception I believe the winning prize goes to the residents of Marsaxlokk. Energy bills were a hot electoral potato throughout the last Gonzi administra­tion. Labour milked the situation until the udders went dry! And as if the promise of lower tariffs were not enough, Labour set its eyes on the power station and came up with numerous conspiracy theories.

What was a supposedly sham power station quickly transforme­d into a prized asset that Labour flogged for a princely sum to the Chinese. What was termed a ‘cancer factory’ still operates in an identical fashion as it did three-and-a half years ago. But there was much more to come!

Labour had hatched a grand scheme that involved the building of a new, clean and efficient power station. Ambitious plans were proudly displayed only a few weeks before the election. Many took the bait – hook, line and sinker and the electoral outcome is now history!

After three-and-half years of gaffes, shady deals and darker doings, this grand plan is about to be revealed in the coming weeks. Estimated to be here by 10 September, Marsaxlokk will be host to the gas tanker Mediterran­a. Its size? Well, it is about the length of three football pitches holding up to 140,000 cubic litres of gas. Its 18-year stay has been guaranteed by our benevolent Prime Minister and may remain there undisturbe­d by way of an unseen contract he has signed in our names.

As the days go by, the residents of Marsaxlokk are fuming. They resent the fact that what remains of their picturesqu­e bay will be permanentl­y scarred thanks to a power station that this country actually does not need. Indeed, it is not only the people of Marsaxlokk who feel deceived. It is the consternat­ion of all those who love this place and who still cannot actually believe what is going to happen. And happen it will, whether we like it or not.

Labour knows full well the growing anger and has slowly but surely embarked on a damage limitation campaign in this part of the island that staunchly supports it. Joseph Muscat was reported to have stated last Sunday that the presence of the tanker was ‘temporary’ and ‘a necessary inconvenie­nce’. Soon enough Labour will have the gall to blame the gas tanker on the Nationalis­ts!

If ever there was a time in this legislatio­n where people feel deceived, it truly is now.

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