The mayor of St Julian’s is calling for authorities to revoke the license of a restaurant where a fight took place over the New Year.
Albert Buttigieg said the lack of respect towards current public health measures was “unacceptable” and unfair towards other businesses that followed directives, put into place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, claiming it cast an ugly shadow on the locality.
“It cannot be that this locality continues to have these kinds of incidents that cast an ugly shadow on us. It is not fair that while several establishments were closed or had to follow the directives of the health authorities, this establishment was not!” he said in a Facebook post.
“It’s time to revoke their license if we really want to offer a quality tourism product.”
The fight occurred an hour after the beginning of the new year outside Al Ustura in Paceville. According to police reports, around 50 people were at the establishment at the time, requiring several police officers to be brought in to crowd control.
Video footage show the chaotic scene in which police can be seen ushering people and brandishing taser guns. Three individual were rushed to hospital from injuries sustained prior to police arrival.[embedded content]
It was later confirmed that a taser gun was used.
The Malta Tourism Authority has fined the Al Ustura restaurant an amount of €2,329.
There’s no indication as to whether the restaurant will have its license revoked – however the restaurant has been instructed to shut down for the time being.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, the owner of Al Ustura claimed that the fight happened outside of the restaurant and involved a personal feud between Syrians and Libyans.
It has yet to be determined whether any positive coronavirus cases emerged as a result of the brawl. Moreover, police investigations into the matter are currently ongoing with several individuals expected to be arraigned over the coming days.
As it stands, Malta has a number of public health measures implemented as a result of the ongoing pandemic which includes social distancing, the wearing of facemarks in public and the closure of bars until 1st February.
“I confess that what happened is not only unacceptable but continues to give rise to the idea that our locality has become like the Wild West of Malta,” Buttigieg said.
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