Crane - construction

On Tuesday evening, Malta Development Association President Michael Stivala and Moviment Graffitti activist Andre Callus butted heads on the state of Malta’s development sector, and more broadly on the ongoing drive to maintain a strong economy and achieve economic growth.

Mr Stivala also leads Stivala Group, a multi-million euro multi-disciplinary group of companies that includes development arms as well as a group of mid-range hotels, ST Hotels Ltd.

The pair were exchanging ideas on TVM’s Realta’, hosted by Brian Hansford, mainly centred around the issues with Malta’s planning and development laws, and what needs to be done to rein in what many describe as a situation that has spiralled out of control. The pair were joined by President of the Malta Chamber of Planning, Bjorn Bonello, and President of the Malta Chamber of Architects, Andre Pizzuto.

The debate between Mr Callus and Mr Stivala evolved into the Government’s drive to maintain a strong economy and champion economic growth.

(Left) Andre Callus and Michael Stivala

Mr Callus points to the “hell on earth” that the seaside village of Gzira has become, strategically using the town as an example considering Mr Stivala was born and raised there, and the fact that Stivala Group is known for their investments in Gzira and Sliema, operating five hotels on The Strand, Gzira.

Refuting the assertion that Gzira has become intolerable, Mr Stivala says this is not evidenced by the number of people flocking to the town’s seafront each night.

“At the end of the day, development is an important pillar of our economy, but we need sustainable development. This is why one of our budget proposals includes the need for greener buildings that are better insulated.”

“When we speak about economic growth, you need to tell the public that with growth the Government can pay for our health sector, COVID air, energy subsidies and more.

“Where will the money come from? We need a strong economy. With a strong economy, we are blessed that locals do not know the struggles being faced overseas with high electricity bills.”

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