|NEWS | Sunday, 29 June 2008
Walker retaliates by terminating adverts with MediaToday
Austin Walker, the man who was appointed to replace Andrew Calleja as chairman of the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (Mepa), has decided to cancel all advertising in sister newspaper Illum after a comment made by the managing editor of the company that owns the Sunday Maltese-language newspaper.
Walker’s decision came two days after an opinion column, penned by Saviour Balzan, questioned whether the appointment was part of Lawrence Gonzi’s ‘magnanimous’ manner of dealing with sensitive public appointments.
Mr Walker worked for the same private company as Dr Gonzi, and before his appointment at Mepa also served as chairman of the Malta Resources Authority.
One of the first electoral commitments made by Gonzi was the decision to remove Mepa from George Pullicino’s ministerial portfolio.
The sister newspaper Illum which today is the fastest growing Maltese Sunday newspaper published a weekly list of all applications made with Mepa. The newspaper remains highly critical of Mepa and its ‘application’ frenzy.
In last Sunday’s opinion Saviour Balzan wrote: “And finally, hip-hip-hurrah for the new chairman at Mepa. With all due respect, why did the choice of a new chairman have to be a former associate of Lawrence Gonzi during his long tenure at Mizzi House? I guess it has got a lot to do with choosing people you can trust. Or if that isn’t a good enough answer, the alternative answer should read: In his traditionally magnanimous manner of dealing with sensitive public appointments, the Prime Minister has opted for a former close associate to ensure that all forms of hanky-panky at MEPA are dealt with expeditiously.”