The fate of Munxar: Enough is enough
The fate of Munxar typifies how local communities in Gozo are now at constant risk of permanent social and economic loss due to unfettered speculation by stealth, symptomatic of all that is rotten at the core of the body politic in general, and to a disproportionately excessive degree in Gozo.
The circuitous history of the Andar Hotel site is a case in point. A block of flats initially "developed" on the site overlooking Xlendi Valley in an outside development zone was subsequently converted into a hotel with the purported prospect of increased local employment. However, the hotel has since been demolished and yet another block of flats is planned.
Mepa's re-designation of the site into a legal development zone has further compounded the situation.
It is patently evident that Mepa condones the government's attempt to repeat the same pattern of issuing more permits for the construction of new hotels in outside development zones, while others such as the Andar, Atlantis and Mgarr Hotels are being torn down, only to be replaced by flats.
A clearly discernible pattern is emerging whereby Gozitans have incurred the worst of both worlds: unsustainable short-term "jobs" in construction and hospitality coupled with the systematic, irrevocable destruction of their island.
In addition, the catalogue of incompetence that characterises the Munxar local council is best exemplified by the careless neglect of Xlendi Tower, the endless delay regarding the embellishment of the village square and the protracted development of a recreational area and public convenience at the entrance of the village.
The MLPN double act, heading the local council, negated plans expressly approved by the residents, for a recreational area, and in the process circumvented the council itself. The local council leadership then made a decision that in fact meant sacrificing a significant portion of the small space available for this public regeneration with no conceivable advantage to the local community.
It is an outrage that recently prompted Harry Vassallo, chairman of Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party, to declare: "The mayor of Munxar must be made aware of the fact that he has no mandate to spend public funds against the wishes of a clear majority of the people he represents..."
It is a depressingly familiar scene, engendered from degenerative bipolar zero sum rule, perpetuating nepotism and ensuring immediate, short-term personal monetary gain of the greedy few at the irremediable expense of the long-term sustainable economic viability and quality of life of the local community as a whole.
It is a tragic waste of material assets and human talent. Does it necessarily have to be so?
Inordinately gifted with resourceful inventiveness, industry and consummately innovative creativity, Gozitans warrant better governance than this.
Munxar has suffered the inevitable consequences of divisive two-party politics of power-at-all-costs that have for too long masqueraded as administration, impeding these islands in the grotesque process.
In stark contrast to AD, the traditional party duo is bankrupt, without a clear, coherent strategy for the present, still less the future of Gozo.
Enough is enough.
The time has come to boldly break the old bipolar mould of mismanaging public matters.
The time has arrived to arrest and reverse the stagnation of the two-party system that has stifled and strangled our nation.
It is time for the politics of reasoned constructive consensus and enlightened progressive reform to roll back the years of decay.
Now is the time of the third party, Alternattiva Demokratika, and a change for the better.
Mr Bajada is a member of AD's Gozo regional committee.