Press Release 10th June, 2015
Front Ħarsien ODZ meets PN and will also accept invitations from other Parties
Front Ħarsien ODZ has accepted an invitation for a meeting with the PN, insisting that its should be open to the media. The Front added that it will welcome similar invitations from all political parties.
In the meeting the Front Ħarsien ODZ made it clear that while political parties have an important role to play in taking a stance against ODZ developments like Zonqor point, they should respect the non partisan and inclusive spirit which has characterized the Front Ħarsien ODZ which is a citizens’ movement made up of people of different political beliefs, many of which have actively opposed developments carried out under different administrations.
Thus while welcoming the stance taken by the Nationalist Party against the Zonqor point development the Front Ħarsien ODZ called on the PN to respect the non partisan and inclusive nature of the demonstration which will be held in Valletta on June 20.
During the meeting Front Ħarsien ODZ underlined the fact that past and present PN and PL Administrations have not adequately protected ODZ areas and had even extended the development boundaries in 2006, a decision which still bears heavily on the environment. The Front Ħarsien ODZ augurs that the PN will take a firm commitment not to repeat these mistakes in the future, and hopes that politicians who in the past or present actively pushed for environmental destruction do not attempt to gain coverage from the upcoming protest.
In addition Front Ħarsien ODZ will also be expecting political parties opposing the Zonqor development to unambiguously declare themselves against any other ODZ developments in the future, both from government and from opposition.
While all citizens are welcome to attend the protest, it will be the Front that will be leading the demonstration thus ensuring that the protest will be a non partisan one where people of different political beliefs can unite against the proposed development. The Front will ensure that representatives of all political parties will not be allowed to take a prominent role in the demonstration and political party representatives who try to do so will be invited to take a backseat.
The protest will be focused exclusively on calling on the government to ensure that the whole of the Zonqor area is declared a national park-a principle which is already enshrined in the 2006 local plan and that no part of the proposed development is located on ODZ land.
As a non partisan citizens’ movement Front Ħarsien ODZ accepts meetings with any democratic political party as long as these meetings are held in the open and in a transparent manner.