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PN government will simplify planning process to encourage investment in Gozo

Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

A new Nationalist government will simplify the planning process to encourage investment in Gozo, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said this evening.

Speaking at a political activity in Xaghra, Dr Gonzi said a PN-led government will encourage the development of five-star hotels on the sister island, which were badly needed.

Fast-tracking such projects would create more employment opportunities for Gozitans and improve the tourism product Gozo offered.

Dr Gonzi said Gozo had more advantages than Malta in terms of its beauty and landscapes but had disadvantages which needed to be addressed.

"What did the Labour Party ever do for Gozo?" he asked, as he listed various projects the government carried out on the island over the years including the proposed tunnel, which was being studied, and another proposal for a direct, fast ferry service linking Gozo to the Grand Harbour.

The Prime Minister referred to the Xarabank debate yesterday and said this should serve as an eye opener. Dr Muscat, he said, did not have any idea in which new direction he wanted to take the country.

The PN, the Prime Minister said, had already unveiled some 18 proposals to create more employment opportunities in Gozo for Gozitans and promised to continue earmarking 10 per cent of EU funds the country received for projects on the island.

Dr Gonzi said that the new Employment and Training Corporation in Gozo, which he inaugurated earlier today, promoted specific schemes for Gozitans and new Gozo businesses which employed at least two Gozitans could receive a rebate on income tax.

"Nothing of this would be possible without sound finances," he said adding that Malta had among the lowest income tax rates, which the government was proposing to continue driving down.

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