Robert Abela to install loyalist at Planning Authority helm

Oliver Magro, a 42-year-old former Planning Authority senior officer and current consultant to Prime Minister Robert Abela, will return to the Planning Authority as its executive chairperson, The Shift News is reliably informed.

Magro had been at the Planning Authority since 2002 until his move to the Office of the Prime Minister. He had worked closely with Abela when he was legal counsel to the Authority, on a €17,000-a-month retainer, for several years.

He will replace Martin Saliba, who has been ousted from the post he had occupied since 2019.

Although Saliba is a full-time Planning Authority employee, it is understood that the OPM is trying to find him a position at another government institution, possibly as a chief executive officer, but not at the Planning Authority.

Senior government sources described the prime minister’s choice to place one of his staunchest loyalists at the Planning Authority’s helm as a bold move that will see the OPM gain complete control over development permits.

“This move means that Robert Abela will practically place himself as the Planning Authority’s CEO. He will now be deciding who gets what permits and when,” according to sources speaking to The Shift.

Magro is already well-known in big business and development circles. Apart from having been “the man to go to at Castille” since Robert Abela became prime minister, he is also regularly seen in the company of big developers, particularly the Gaucis from Birkirkara, known as Tal-Gedida.

A loyal person of trust for Robert Abela, Magro had been placed on a €62,000 contract as an advisor to the prime minister.

The Planning Authority is already facing intense criticism for its role in the ongoing destruction of the country’s environment and heritage, with haphazard development condoned by the Authority taking place across the board.

With its boards already dominated by government appointees, Planning Authority officials speaking to The Shift said Magro’s placement at the Authority’s helm will translate into more development and more big businesses seeing planning applications go their way.

                           
                           
                               
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Anthony Nani
Anthony Nani
16 days ago

Why the change? Wasn’t Saliba loyal enough both in his previous role as Chairman of the EPRT and then of the Planning Authority?

Mariatheresa Micallef
Mariatheresa Micallef
16 days ago
Reply to  Anthony Nani

Read the article again and you’ll understand ‘why the change’

Anthony Nani
Anthony Nani
15 days ago

I don’t see the difference. While I am happy to see the back of Saliba, anyone placed there will have the same age da. Different faces same shit.

Greed
Greed
16 days ago
Reply to  Anthony Nani

Maybe not enough envelopes or the envelopes need to be changed for jiffy bags?

Greed
Greed
16 days ago

Robber Abela’s trough is enormous as it is but now it will be even bigger as JP and Co await in the wings maybe?

Bamboccu
Bamboccu
16 days ago

Tal Gedida.
Gauci tal Big Ben
Gauci tal Big Bon
Gauci tal Pama
Gauci Properties
Gauci Flats Qawra
Gauci Auto Sales
Gauci Ragusa Port….maybe Bob needs a place to park his small boat.

A. Gauci
A. Gauci
14 days ago
Reply to  Bamboccu

Gauci tal-Abandarado

Steve
Steve
15 days ago

Donnu kulhadd nesa kemm stghana zaren taht il-PN

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