← Back to homepage

A number of Gozitans along with the Mayor of Qala Paul Buttigieg gathered in front of the Curia in Floriana yesterday, demanding that the Archbishop reverses his decision to hand over control of the land to ‘ruthless spectators’.

This comes after Archbishop Scicluna decided to hand over medieval foundations to spectators interesting in developing Gozo.

Many residents of Qala and Nadur are currently facing threats of eviction, as farmers’ leases are being increased and Gozo’s natural environment is at a loss.

The residents’ call was mainly for “the Archbishop to dismiss Patrick Valentino from rector of the Abbazia, initiate legal action to annul the transfer of Abbazia’s land to private companies as well as seek legal remedies to cancel the 2017 agreement with speculators”.

These agreements are now leading to families in Qala being hounded by the Abbazia for large sums of money, placing them under intense feelings of stress and pressure.

Farmers tilling land are also being asked for ridiculous increases in the prices of their leases, leading some to abandoning the land they’ve worked in for so long.

Undeveloped land was also handed over to face the wrath of monstrous development, such as that of Ta’ Kassja that is being developed by no other than Joseph Portelli.

“In view of the above, we are calling on Archbishop Scicluna to take responsibility for his actions and honour his obligations, both moral and those under the contract of foundation, by:

Immediately revoking the decree appointing Patrick Valentino, and hence dismissing him,from rector of the Abbazia. By the Archbishop’s own admission, Valentino was not supposed to transfer large lands to private companies which are now making millions in profit from the development on this land.

Initiate legal action to annul contracts granting these lands to private companies on the basis that such transfers go against the contract of the foundation of the Abbazia, as well as the long-term interest of the Abbazia. The Archbishop has a moral duty to act in accordance with responsibilities and faculties placed on him by the foundress Cosmana Navarra.

Seek legal remedies to get the contracts of 27 February 2017 and 26 March 2018 annulled because these have led to situations that are extremely damaging to residents and farmers in Nadur and Qala, the environment in Gozo, the long term interests of the foundation, and the interests of the church itself, whose standing is being battered by this saga.”

Do you agree with the residents?