More EU funds needed for infrastructure upgrades.

Source: George M. Mangion¸ PKF Malta

As published in the Malta Independent on the 25th November 2012

This week negotiators discussing the next EU seven year budget are having a rough ride with net contributor countries wanting to slash their payments and in contrast poorer members insist they need more financial help particularly those whose economy is in recession.The local media reported that Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi is being offered a lower allocation which is about €300 million less than the previous budget allocation.

Can Malta succeed to persuade EU leaders that it deserves more funding to continue in its drive to modernise road infrastructure and improve the state of the environment? The answer lies in tough negotiation in Brussels to persuade the bureaucrats that our geographical insularity needs immediate attention if ever we can aspire to reach the EU threshold.It is true that many projects were impossible to ever start to be completed if EU co- funding was absent.Over seven years Malta benefited from €855 million in EU funds but it also continued to borrow public funds to balance its annual deficits. Such debts result in a heavy interest cost which would otherwise have been allocated to many alternative uses such for instance to take better care of our natural habitat and ancestral heritage. One such historical heritage which is currently in an abandoned state is the tomb area at Tal Wej Mosta. For so many years building activity had slowly encroached this large tract of land located in the outskirts of Mosta. EU funds are sorely needed by the Mosta Council to protect this ancient Bronze Age heritage consisting of sacred burial ground from the ravages of demolition and building works. Quoting a recent announcement by Mepa the area is listed as rich in garigue community .It contains a network of rock pools and ancient tombs and is being classified as an area of high ecological importance.

According to Mepa the derelict site which is currently a dumping ground for discarded building materials features dolmens¸ cart-ruts¸ ancient quarries¸ shaft and chamber tombs¸ vine trenches¸ a 16th century chapel and two corbelled huts. Should adequate EU funds be secured then if used properly they will protect the Karstland and it’s rocky steppe in Tal -Wej to be enjoyed by present and future generations .One hopes that if the next EU budget is not severely reduced as presently proposed by Brussels then funds can be allocated to clean the tombs and rebuild broken rubble walls to cordon off such a heritage which our forefathers have left us to enjoy and cherish. Perhaps the ghosts of our bronze age ancestors buried in the Tal Wej cemetery will rise from the chamber tombs to solicit our attention to respect their abode . The expensive task to clean up the site and preserve our heritage is another problem to a beleaguered and cash strapped Mosta council.To start with the Council own funds are thinly spread to repair existing badly damaged residential roads .Surely with an election so close councillors are trying to give a higher priority to repair seemingly war-torn roads. So far the current practice of light patching of deep holes is a laughable and expensive solution even though one would argue that high taxes col