(Adds ministry's reaction)

In removing the Sette Giugno monument from St George’s Square, the government had gone against the permit for the works when it should lead by example, Labour spokesman Roderick Galdes said.

Mr Galdes took the media to a Works Division store at Mriehel, where, he said, the Sette Giugno monument was stored.

According to the Malta Environment and Planning Authority permit for the rehabilitation of St George’s Square, the monument should have been moved slightly but not removed.

Resources Minister George Pullicino, Mr Galdes said, had declared that the monument would be stored and then placed in Freedom Square. However, it was not included in the permit application for works at City Gate.

This, Mr Galdes said, was disrespecting a national feast which should unite all the Maltese. He also pointed out that the PL representative on the Mepa board had voted in favour of the rehabilitation of the square.


The ministry said that while the Maltese and Gozitans were enthusiastically enjoying the rehabilitated St George's Square, the opposition continued to repeat the same arguments in spite of the government's clear statements in the past weeks.

The government believed that this monument was intrinsically linked to Parliament so it decided to incorporate it in the City Gate plans which included the building of a new Parliament in Freedom Square. In the meantime, it was being cleaned and rehabilitated.

The government had written to Mepa to confirm its intention on December 3 and the government's letter was mentioned during the authority's meeting yesterday, for which Mr Galdes was present.

The government again wrote to Mepa yesterday informing it of its intention to submit an amended plan for St George's Square together with the plans for City Gate and the new parliament. But Mr Galdes chose to ignore all this.

The opposition's desperate attempts would not halt the government's projects for the people, the ministry said.

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