Government to enable Anglu Xuereb to regularise illegal Qawra lidos

Lands Minister to present parliament resolution to accommodate Xuereb who has occupied the land illegally for 37 years - for only a €2 million fine, payable over 10 years

 

Aqra bil-Malti

The government will be asking parliament to approve a new resolution so developer and hotelier Anglu Xuereb can regularise the 37-year-old illegal occupation of large swaths of coastal public land in Qawra.

In the latest sellout of public land, the government has arranged for Xuereb and his AX Group to get the land for only a €2 million fine, payable in ten-year instalments.

In return for this new out-of-court settlement agreement, the resolution, seen by The Shift, proposes that Xuereb and the government drop their court cases against each other, which have been stalled in court for over 20 years.

As a result, AX Group, which operates the Suncrest Hotel, now rebranded AX ODYCY Hotel and other tourism facilities just across the road from its illegal lidos, will get a new and now legal 65-year concession on the lidos by paying an annual ground rent of €138,000.

The Sunny Coast lido in Qawra is one of two parcels of public land that the AX Group has occupied for 37 years.

The Shift is informed that Lands Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi is expected to submit the resolution to the National Audit Accounts Parliamentary Committee next week.

According to procedure, the parliamentary committee needs unanimity to approve this new arrangement.  If the Opposition disagrees, the resolution would then move to the plenary of the House of Representatives.

At that stage, the same resolution only needs a simple majority, which can be easily carried through the Labour Party’s majority.

The Sunny Coast and Suncrest lidos are spread over 5,583 square metres of Qawra’s coastline.

They were developed on land illegally occupied by Anglu Xuereb in 1987 when the corrupt former Labour minister Lorry Sant was responsible for public land.

At the time, Xuereb did not have any title to the land despite building two large lidos.

Hotelier and contractor Anglu Xuereb and one of his Qawra lidos built illegally on public land.

Since then, the two lidos have been expanded and modernised, serving hundreds of thousands of clients and generating millions for the AX Group.

While the Planning Authority issued several enforcement orders against the illegalities, and the Lands Authority started court proceedings against the AX Group in 1991, none of the authorities under all administrations since then have ever intervened to close the illegal lidos.

Like most developers and hoteliers, AX Group has continued to benefit under different administrations.

Meanwhile, court procedures were left open-ended and never delivered a conclusion.

Last year, in preparation for the latest resolution, the government declassified Anglu Xuereb’s lidos from the public domain law, which excludes development on the coast, to grant permission.

Lands Authority CEO Robert Vella, involved in the closed-door discussions with the AX Group, had told parliament that this declassification was the only way the illegal lidos could be passed onto Xuereb.

According to the draft resolution, this arrangement will now make it possible for Xuereb to invest some €60 million in refurbishing his hotels in the area.

                           

Sign up to our newsletter

Stay in the know

Get special updates directly in your inbox
Don't worry we do not spam
                           
                               
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

12 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
karmenu Psaila
karmenu Psaila
1 month ago

€13800 rent a year is a joke , how can this be allowed and 2 million fine for all those years is a bigger joke .Its like that Santa has come to town for Mr Xuereb.

carmel
carmel
1 month ago
Reply to  karmenu Psaila

according to report, its 138,000€/annual gr

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  karmenu Psaila

And what about the dirty water that goes in the sea?

Robert
Robert
1 month ago

A disgrace!

sarah
sarah
1 month ago

hello

Paul Bonello
Paul Bonello
1 month ago

In 1994 the Maltese (PN) government had sold the entire Verdala Hotel lands for Lm100,000 payable at Lm1,000 per annum interest free; has he paid it all? With these people they are always part of the ruling regime

jingo
jingo
1 month ago

It was once a nice place without the hotels and all that razzmatazz built in the 80s and 90s. Enjoy!

"Having a mind to think"
"Having a mind to think"
1 month ago

Ok. So I am rightfully entitled to grab any parcel of public land, wherever I want, preferably in a prominent area! For me, 200sqm is enough…..and for this I’m entitled to pay a €7000 ‘fine’ and a ground rent of €4943 annually for 65 years. Rightfully yes, right?
@robertabela
@stefanzrinzoazzopardi

If AX can have it, why not me? Animals are all equal, right?

mark
mark
1 month ago

and he certainly won’t even pay that amount… so big businessmen can take anything on this island. It must be considered that in that Hotel they took public land, no longer allowing citizens access to the sea, all the workplace accidents that occurred during construction must be considered and the dumping into the sea carried out by this magnate must be considered, but obviously no fines paid or job blocked, obviously now you pay a ridiculous amount and you can continue doing what you want.

ivan Grech Mintoff
1 month ago

It has to be Zrinzo who is so generous with our property

Once again

Mark Borg
Mark Borg
1 month ago

Hahaha!!
Whom do you wanna fool?!
Hypocrisy at its best!

But Caqnu was forced to bring down his illegal construction at Monte Kristo?!

Why was that????

The authorities think that we are idiots?!
What about their sworn oath?!!

RUBBISH!

Richard Leyshon
Richard Leyshon
1 month ago

No problem so long as free access is given to Maltese tax payers considering it is public land and that Maltese taxpayers are essentially subsidizing AX Group’s business activities. If free access is not given then i feel the land should be reclaimed for the public, simple!

Related Stories

Police protection required for journalists at Joseph Muscat’s arraignment next week
Journalists covering the court hearing next week of disgraced
OHSA to add new PR manager as Stagno Navarra is never there
The Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OHSA) plans to

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo