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MW 17 August 2016

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WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT WEDNESDAY EDITION €1.00 Newspaper post PG 9 • Editorial WEDNESDAY • 17 AUGUST 2016 • ISSUE 482 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY Labour whip fumes over industrial park plans, says Bilom 'raped Wied Incita' MAT THEW VELLA LABOUR Whip Godfrey Far- rugia has spoken out against plans by construction develop- ers Bilom to turn their quarry at Attard 's Wied Incita, into a new industrial park for small and medium enterprises. The controversial plans have riled neighbouring residents and environmental groups who fear the plans will turn the once pristine valley into a new indus- trial complex. "Wied Incita has been raped by quarry owners, rendering its habitat lifeless... the irregulari- ties are well known," Farrugia, who is an MP for the constitu- ency that includes neighbour- ing Zebbug, said. "It seems that policy loopholes are being sought by misusing the recently approved solar farm policy to develop an in- dustrial park in an ODZ area... on an excuse that the own- ers will be helping the carbon footprint and build an adjacent family park. Wow. We must be most grateful," Farrugia added sardonically in a post on his Fa- cebook wall. "How about restoring the val- ley and its biodiversity? Bilom owes it to us," Farrugia said of the Attard quarry, which nearby residents frequently complain about the level of noise and dust it generates on a daily basis. Bilom is proposing the de- velopment of a huge industrial park for small and medium- sized enterprises equipped with an overlying solar farm over 158,000 square metres on the site currently taken up by the quarries. The development also fore- sees the construction of a fam- ily recreational park and a retail outlet, all set on the 158,000 square metre tract equivalent in area to 22 football fields, of land outside development zones in Wied Incita. Plans seen by MaltaToday envision the development of 235 garages occupying 55,000 square metres of land, a retail outlet to be built over 7,460 square metres while the family recreation park would occupy only 2,550 m2. Land is also identified for recycling facili- ties. The land is "disturbed " by quarrying activities, which ac- cording to residents are causing a serious inconvenience due to noise and dust. But as proposed the development also foresees an extension to one of the ex- isting quarries and the reloca- tion of the existing quarry entrance and administrative offices to the Zebbug side. A draft policy on solar farms identifies disused quarries as potential sites for ODZ solar panels. The local plan also pro- poses a buffer zone be- tween the residential area and the quar- ries. In the latest application the family park is being proposed as the buffer zone. Labour whip Godfrey Farrugia said Wied Incita has been raped by quarry owners, rendering its habitat lifeless PAGE 4 Labour whip Godfrey Farrugia said Wied Incita has been raped by quarry owners, rendering its habitat lifeless EU lawyers tell governments they can contest Panama committee's legality EU Council's legal services raises doubts on legal validity of MEPs to summon government ministers to answer on taxation rules • Konrad Mizzi could be asked to testify before the committee of inquiry MATTHEW VELLA EU member states have been ad- vised by the Council of Ministers' legal service to coordinate a "unified approach" before any minister gets summoned to testify before the Eu- ropean Parliament's committee to investigate the Panama Papers, and that governments could contest the legality of the EP decision to set up the committee. The Council – which comprises the EU's heads of government – was told by its legal service that member states could be in a position to refuse participation in the Panama Papers committee, putting into doubt the EP committee's prerogative to sum- mon ministers. It said MEPs could not assume themselves the power of the Eu- ropean Commission by asking member states on how they have enforced taxation rules, unless they had clear allegations of contraven- tions or proof of maladministration. The 65-member committee seeks to investigate alleged contraven- tions and maladministration in the application by the European Commission or member states of EU laws on money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion. Malta's former energy minister Konrad Mizzi could be one of those government members told to testify before the committee of inquiry. PAGE 8 The European Parliament committee will investigate alleged breaches of EU laws on money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion

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