Valletta residents to protest over Evans Building privatisation

A group of Valletta residents under the name ‘Residenti Beltin’ are protesting the government’s decision to privatise the iconic Evans Building in lower Valletta and want to reverse the decision.

Announcing a peaceful protest on Saturday, the group, which is registered as a political party, called upon all Valletta residents, including the Labour-led local council – to protest the government’s decision to allocate Evans Building to a private company and turn it into a luxury hotel.

Complaining that Valletta has been turned into a wild entertainment area while residents’ needs have been severely neglected, the group is appealing to Prime Minister Robert Abela to abort the ongoing privatisation concession for Evans Building and instead use it for the Valletta community.

According to Residenti Beltin, if the ongoing plans materialise, it will become another heavily commercialised zone, disrupting the peaceful enjoyment of hundreds of nearby residents.

Instead, the group suggests that Evans Building should be used for much-needed community services such as an elderly care home, a childcare centre, and other community-related facilities.

The Shift is informed that the political party plans to field candidates for next June’s local council elections to unseat the unpopular Labour majority ruling the capital.

The opposition from Valletta residents to the privatisation of Evans Building is the latest in a series of hurdles the government is facing.

Regarding a tender to allocate Evans Building to the private sector through a 65-year concession, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is accused of mishandling the process by awarding it to the lowest financial bidder.

However, while admitting its mistake in its submission, the designated awardee – Valletta Luxury Projects – owned by the Eden Leisure Group and Iniala – insists it made the highest offer and not the lowest, as shown in the official documents of the Contracts Department.

The OPM’s decision immediately raised the ire of two other competitors, Paul Attard’s Katari Hospitality and Iconic Hotels Malta, supported by the internationally acclaimed firm Nobu, who has filed an official objection to the OPM’s decision.

They accused the OPM of going out of its way to ensure the concession was awarded to the Decesare/Weingard business owners of VLP and violating procurement rules.

                           

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Simon Camilleri
Simon Camilleri
1 month ago

Aww such a shame. Oh wait.. nearly all of Valletta voted for this. Not a shame anymore 🙂

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