Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Dr Joseph Muscat has stated that public transport using the tunnel between Malta and Gozo will be provided for free in order to reduce the use of private vehicles. Dr Muscat stated that more studies are needed on the tunnel project, whilst also declaring that Government is to start looking at a metro system around the country following the roads project in the next seven years.
Dr Muscat explained Government’s vision for Gozo and how it can have sustainable development without losing the characteristics of Gozo.
Speaking in Rabat, Gozo, Dr Muscat explained that there will be direct public transport to strategic points in Malta, among which Malta International Airport and Mater Dei hospital. The Prime Minister declared that the Malta-Gozo tunnel is economically sustainable, and will not place additional burdens on the people.
The Prime Minister said he refuted the idea that a permanent link would destroy Gozo’s character, adding that Government’s plan was for Gozo to remain an environmental oasis and a cultural attraction. Dr Muscat stated that studies have been carried out in recent years about the viability of a tunnel, adding that more studies still needed to be carried out.
Dr Muscat declared that infrastructural improvements are needed so that Malta can compete with the world’s leading countries, adding that this was being undertaken through the promise that all roads in Malta and Gozo will be rebuilt over a seven-year span with a 700 million euro investment. Dr Muscat stated that once this project is completed, Government would start thinking about mass transport systems, including a metro.
Referring to economic development in Gozo, Dr Muscat stated that for the first time ever, the economy in Gozo has grown more than that of Malta. The speaker added that from 2013 to date, 3,300 jobs have been created in Gozo, the majority of them in the private sector. The Prime Minister declared that Government will not stop here, and mentioned that next time around, Gozo has to be the European Culture Capital.
The Labour leader said Government had introduced a mentality that Malta and Gozo are the same. The Gozitans, he added, had already given a clear signal in favour of the change brought about by the Labour Government. Referring to the next electoral appointments, Dr Muscat said this would be the first time the electorate will be voting in two elections at the same time. Dr Muscat appealed for both islands to join forces and give a sign of change for Tomorrow’s Malta, a Success for Everyone.