Comino deckchairs out again as minister’s plan remains shelved

Clayton Bartolo promised concession tender in 2022


Aqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti.

As another summer approaches, three men who hold expired beach concessions in Comino are set to profit from Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo’s inaction following his failure to issue a public tender for the second consecutive summer.

As a result, Daniel Refalo, an associate of developer Joseph Portelli; Mark Cutajar, the brother of Labour MEP Josianne Cutajar and canvasser of Minister Clint Camilleri; and Sandro Ciliberti, will have another long summer to profit from the government’s failure to control the ongoing racket in Comino.

Daniel Refalo and Mark Cutajar

In November 2022, following protests by Moviment Graffitti against the illegal occupation of public land, the tourism minister announced that the MTA was about to issue a new tender for the Comino concessions and a long-term plan to regulate the situation that had developed over the last years.

In May 2023, PN MPs Rebekah Borg and Albert Buttigieg reminded the minister of his declaration. Yet Bartolo changed his plans and said the tender had to be postponed to the following summer as his ministry was still finalising a long-term plan for the island.

Twelve months later, the same individuals who had been operating on an expired concession for years have again started placing their deckchairs around the Blue Lagoon as Minister Bartolo’s long-term plan and tender failed to materialise.

The tourism minister did not reply to The Shift’s questions on why plans promised in 2022 have not been implemented.

Meanwhile, dozens of parliamentary questions to Minister Bartolo asking him to publish a copy of the concessions related to the occupation of public land in Comino remained unanswered.

He has insisted the documents were “commercially sensitive”.

Minister Bartolo has a personal and direct interest in maintining the status quo in Comino.

One of Minister Bartolo’s father’s boats at the Blue Lagoon.

His family, including his father, is the owner of Pleasure and Leisure Ltd, which ferries tourists to the Blue Lagoon several times a day during summer.

The company, which operates under the brand name Oh Yeah Malta, has a base in Mellieha.


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Paul Bonello
Paul Bonello
1 month ago

Racketeering with the covert and overt aiding and abetting of government ministers. Shame on you Clayton. No doubt President Spiteri Debono had you also in mind when denouncing greed.

Matthias Wille
Matthias Wille
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul Bonello

Maybe in her next speech she is naming the culprits and addresses the minister directly?!

Bob Tucker
Bob Tucker
1 month ago

Disgusting and corrupt

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
1 month ago

And, in the meantime, adverts lauding the Blue Lagoon ‘paradise’ keep proliferating near the Sliema Ferries – tricking the unwary into the vision of a day’s relaxing swim there.

Last edited 1 month ago by Joseph Tabone Adami
S. Camilleri
S. Camilleri
1 month ago

All this man can do is store things on shelves; he should open a supermarket and let someone else do the governing. Anyways, he seems to have already joined Pleasure and Leisure Ltd.

Josette Portelli
Josette Portelli
1 month ago

There’s no way of getting rid of these culprits. Do your homework well when it comes to voting!

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