The Budget for next year has increased the funds for the Gozo Ministry by 11 million euro. Minister Justyne Caruana indicated some of the projects which are to be implemented through funds from the budget. Addressing the media in the Citadel ditch, Dr Caruana stated that the measures for Gozo are based on creation of work, improvement of the infrastructure and connectivity.
Dr Caruana added that the budget for next year is a strong declaration in favour of Gozo, as the funds for the Ministry will be increased by 20%.
“Which means another 11 million euro, which we will invest during 2020 in initiatives and projects in Gozo for the Gozitans. We are seeing how the budget measures can essentially be split up into three sectors which are focused on creation of work, the infrastructure, and connectivity.”
Minister Caruana added that there is a 10 million euro vote for roads in Gozo, when Gozo had only been allocated one million euro for the same work up to a few years ago. Dr Caruana mentioned that works will be carried out in Triq l-Imġarr, the road from Nadur to Imġarr harbour, as well as a four-km stretch from Rabat to Marsalforn.
Minister Caruana further stated that a Research and Innovation Hub in Xewkija and the Barts Medical School will be opened within weeks. Dr Caruana added that an investment will be made for vehicles in Gozo to be changed to electric power, so that Gozo will become an environmental destination.
Referring to connectivity, the Minister said the tunnel project is proceeding as planned, and at the same time an investment will be made towards increasing the efficiency of Gozo Channel through the fourth vessel and the introduction of an electronic ticketing system. Dr Caruana added that work is ongoing to introduce a fast ferry service, further stating that inter-islands connectivity will be further improved through the installation of a second fibre optic.
Minister Caruana stated that according to the Statistics Office, Gozo had the lowest unemployment rate this year. Dr Caruana mentioned that Government is allocating 1.3 million euro for new jobs of quality, and another million euro for Maltese and foreign companies to set up shop in Gozo.
Dr Caruana explained that new niches are being explored, and for this reason a fund has been set up for Gozo to become a destination for conferences, meetings and activities.