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PN concerned about resignation of Mepa Environment Director

The Nationalist Party has voiced concern over the resignation of Mepa Environment Director Petra Caruana Dingli and government decisions and plans related to the environment.

In a statement, the party said that Dr Caruana Dingli's resignation earlier today was a blow to all those who loved the environment. She had been appointed to this post because of her environment credentials and her record at the helm of an environment NGO, and during her stint at Mepa, she had taken a number of initiatives to protect the environment, the PN said.

The PN said it was concerned about the government's land reclamation plans, as this would involve the dumping of tens of tons of debris into the sea, potentially harming Malta's attractiveness as a diving destination and related jobs. Furthermore, studies made so far questioned the feasibility of such a project.

The party said the government had failed to consult all environment NGOs before appointing the Mepa board, including some NGOs which the Labour Party itself had consulted and 'used' during the electoral campaign.

With regard to the power station, it was clear that haste came before the environment. The PN warned that a mistake in tendering procedures or a mistake which could impact the environment could have repercussions on the country, including heavy fines.

The party also raised concerns about spring hunting, saying that despite Labour promises of increased surveillance, BirdLife was reporting the shooting of protected birds and regular law breaking, a situation which could lead to Malta losing its derogation.

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