Political intervention reverses removal of Mellieħa cross

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Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A Planning Authority decision to order the removal of a large cross placed on a Mellieħa hill by fireworks enthusiasts has been reversed following the intercession of the Prime Minister and the town’s two MPs, Newsbook.com.mt is informed.

The Għaqda tan-Nar Marija Bambina places the cross each year around Holy Week on the hill which they use to let off fireworks. Though it is usually removed shortly afterwards, the society decided to keep it in place this year “as a gesture during these testing times,” at the suggestion of various locals.

But the temporary structure was not covered by a permit, and after a report was filed, the Planning Authority issued an enforcement notice, demanding that the cross be taken down.

The fireworks society complied, but after lamenting the decision on Facebook – uploading a photo of its members removing the cross – a public outcry arose over the enforced removal.

Bongu. Il-bierah l-Ghaqda tan-nar Marija Bambina nizzlet is-salib li kien hemm ix-xaghra u li kien ilu hemm mil-Gimgha…

Posted by Mellieha Fireworks on Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The town’s local councillors joined in, with mayor Dario Vella expressing solidarity with the fireworks society and PN councillors issuing a statement highlighting that the authorities had more serious matters to deal with than a temporary symbolic structure. Even PN leader Adrian Delia expressed his disapproval of the decision to remove the cross.

Ultimately, as the fireworks’ society president Toni Caruana confirmed to Newsbook.com.mt,it took the intervention of Prime Minister Robert Abela himself as well as that of two Mellieħa MPs – Parliamentary Secretary Clayton Bartolo and opposition whip Robert Cutajar – to reverse the PA’s decision.

The cross is set to be placed back on site this evening.

Grazzi lil Prim Ministru Robert Abela li wara kommunikazzjoni diretta mieghu dalghodu fehem is-sitwazzjoni u s-Salib ha jerga jittella fejn kien.Grazzi lil kulhadd ta l-attenzjoni.Kuragg Mellieha Fireworks

Posted by Vella Dario – Mellieha on Wednesday, August 19, 2020