Tista' taqra bil- Malti.
Independent candidate and former Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson Arnold Cassola raised his concerns about the launch of ‘Christmas in the City’, asking if Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli is playing with people’s health.
On Monday Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli together with Minister José Herrera and the Valletta Cultural Agency, launched Christmas in the City, a programme of events for the coming weeks planned to liven up the capital city.
Arnold Cassola argued that with authorities encouraging people to drive to Valletta in the Christmas period, offering free parking at the Floriana car park means that loads of people will be in close contact in the car park lifts.
“Does Health Minister Chris Fearne agree with this? Is Minister Farrugia Portelli sure she has got her “mechanisms” right this time?” asked the Independent candidate.
During the launch of the event it was announced that free parking scheme for Valletta visitors, on Black Friday the 27th of November, on the 8th and 13th of December and from the 19th of December till the 1st of January, will be offered.
This initiative will be funded by the Malta Tourism Authority, MTA, through an investment of €50,000.
Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli said that authorities want to keep the Christmas spirit alive while helping and supporting the local industry. She also said that they believe that a balance can be achieved through if people keep following the necessary precautions against the coronavirus pandemic.
The Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government José Herrera stated that it is vital that people continue supporting artists though their participation as members of the audience, and that cultural events continue to be held.
“Balanced efforts to help Valletta business and save Christmas are welcome”
The Malta Chamber of SMEs welcomed the efforts to help Valletta’s business and save Christmas.
SME Chamber CEO Abigail Mamo stated that ‘Christmas is too much of an important period to be missed and that this initiative strikes the right balance between adapting to the new normal and staying safe while still enjoying life.’