I am generally put off by such a prefix. The interviewee would have to score very highly in his subsequent reply in order to regain my respect. The prefix is an insult to the interviewer as if one ought to be surprised at his placing what the interviewee considers a good question; as if the norm is for the interviewer to pose stupid questions. Furthermore, what we are interested in is informative intelligent answers rather eulogies about good questions.
So this week I was elated when the Enemalta chairman favoured us with a very pertinent answer to a question which has been twirling in my mind but which I never managed to express formally. I have been wondering at how it is that while the two main political parties seemed to be falling over each other promising extensive development plans for the inner
At the last election I contested the fourth district which included Marsa and Paola – two places very much affected by the polluted environment generated by the power station. From my home visits I quickly formed the opinion that the single most important step which could make a change in the quality of living of my constituents in this area would be the closure and relocation of the Marsa power station.
I made it a focal point of my campaign to work for the solution of this continuous health hazard by transforming the inner harbour area into an international financial centre where international banks, fund managers, fund administrators and such like folks would be offered incentives to set up shop here in a modern office accommodation on the same concept of Canary Wharf in London.
Development with tasteful architecture, open spaces, magnificent views looking outward towards the external areas of the Grand Harbour and working right in the place where the Romans and their fore-runners used to ship in their stuff for the needs of the resident population. Traces of Roman roads leading right from Marsa to Mdina where this stuff used to be transported to safer inland areas are still evident till this very day.
Enemalta chairman informed us that because of EU regulations, the Marsa power station will have to be closed down by 2015. It has to be done not because it makes sense or because we can use the location for a much more lucrative scope but purely because the EU demands it and so we have do it begrudgingly at the latest permissible date.
This was stated in a consultation meeting organised by the Labour Party in its quest to appear as a government in waiting with ready plans to make optimum use of our scarce resources, which are often being misused by applying them to perform misguided functions.
The Marsa power station has been in operation for 45 years and is well beyond it use-by date. When the power station at Delimara was built, we were told that it would be big enough to accommodate our nation’s overall energy needs so that Marsa will be put out of service. This has not happened either because the demand for energy has increased much more than anticipated when Delimara was designed or because Delimara has not worked out as well as anticipated. Well, now Delimara is what it is and it should continue to be developed to accommodate all foreseeable energy needs to be able to close down Marsa without having to spoil some new virgin territory by placing another power station in somebody else’s backyard.
If Labour wishes to score they should applaud the closure of the Marsa power station and promise to work to bring such event forward by a few years. We should close down Marsa because this is sensible and necessary, not because the EU obliges us to. Because the land where the Marsa power station sits is invaluable and can be commercialised to generate economic growth and job creation which will make the financial burden of extending the Delimara Power station bearable.
Now that’s a good question. What? Which party is going to promise us to close the Marsa power station by 2012?
With August being consigned to history today we will soon enter the election fever stage where promises will start flying . We deserve realistic programmes and firm commitments with funding details to ensure the electorate can judge not only the desirability of what is being promised but also the likelihood of implementation without raising taxes in whatever shape or form they are packaged.