Front page.

News | Wednesday, 10 March 2010 Issue. 154

Bookmark and Share

Government, GRTU reach agreement over displaced City Gate shops

After months of stalemate between Government and the owners of City Gate shops that will be displaced as a result of the Renzo Piano project, a framework agreement has been reached between the Chamber of Maltese and Medium-Sized Enterprises and the Government, MaltaToday has learnt.
As a result of this agreement, all shop owners who will not be accepting the alternative premises that was being offered by the Government would be receiving an unspecified amount of financial compensation.
Asked to elaborate more on the terms of the deal, GRTU Director-General Vince Farrugia told MaltaToday that the compensation that will be offered by Government “relates to the loss earnings based on their gross sales income in the best two years of the last five years.
“The exact amount will emerge following submission of audited accounts and subject to a government ceiling and depending on the number of business who opt for financial compensation,” Farrugia said.
However, the GRTU chief told this paper that the majority of Valletta shop owners that will be displaced as a result of the Piano Project had opted for alternative premises.
Farrugia also confirmed that the majority of displaced shop owners will be housed in a refurbished complex above City Gate.
The GRTU apparently moved on its own initiative after a committee formed of representatives from the Government on one side. and of GRTU and the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry on the other (MCCEI) had reached a stalemate.
As a result of this, GRTU held a meeting for all City Gate shop owners on 15 February 2010 to take stock of the situation.
A decision was taken “on the criteria that should be used as a basis for negotiations with Government as it was imposing an early deadline for closure of these shops,” Farrugia said in the latest issue of the GRTU News-String.
Azzopardi accepted to meet GRTU “on short notice”, and “the framework for a settlement was agreed to” at this meeting.
In the absence of a suitable alternative, shop owners will receive “compensation according to the framework agreement worked out with the GRTU,” Farrugia was quoted as saying.
Originally, in August 2009, sister paper Business Today had revealed that shop owners, displaced as a result of the Valletta regeneration project, had been offered alternative premises above City Gate.
However, the retailers had shot down the proposals as “inadequate” in meetings with Lands’ Parliamentary Secretary Jason Azzopardi about the matter.
“He told us that the premises above City Gate are available, and that it would be upgraded,” Reggie Fava, the owner of a pharmacy in City Gate which had been operating for the past 42 years, had told Business Today.
“Business people were not happy at all with those premises – they do not believe that it is adequate for their business.”
Contacted by MaltaToday, a spokesperson for Jason Azzopardi yesterday confirmed that the discussions between the City Gate shopowners over compensation were still ongoing “in order to find suitable solutions.
“Since these discussions are still underway, it would not be prudent to comment at this premature stage,” Azzopardi said.



Any comments?
If you wish your comments to be published in our Letters pages please click button below.
Please write a contact number and a postal address where you may be contacted.



Download front page in pdf file format

Download the MaltaToday newspaper advertising rates in PDF format

European Elections special editions

01 June 2009
02 June 2009
03 June 2009
04 June 2009
08 June 2009

Copyright © MediaToday Co. Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 9016, Malta, Europe
Managing editor Saviour Balzan | Tel. ++356 21382741 | Fax: ++356 21385075 | Email