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PM says alternative sites for new 'educational facility' in the south will be considered

File photo

File photo

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said this morning that Mepa in the normal course of its processes would consider alternative sites for the new American university, as long as it was in the south of Malta.

Speaking in a One Radio interview, he said the government’s plans for the setting up of an educational facility and the setting up of a natural park, both in the south should be seen together.

The first was a non-polluting educational facility which would generate economic activity, and the second would provide open spaces safe environment to enjoy nature.

He said the government would like the educational facility to be set up in the south because the income of families in the south was the lowest among Malta’s regions, by some €2,500 below the average.

The new university - earmarked for a site between Marsascala and Xaghjra - would be the biggest investment in the south, at €115 million, creating 400 jobs and attracting 4,000 students to Malta. It would boost Malta’s GDP by 1%, or €20m to €25m per year.

He said the government wanted to take the least arable land possible. Public consultations would be made, and Mepa would, in its normal process, consider alternative sites, as long as they were in the south.

It was evident that not everyone agreed with decisions taken - whether it was environmentalists with regard to the educational institution or developers with regard to the natural park,  but the government was seeking a balance based on sustainable development, Dr Muscat said.

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