Mark Cutajar, one of two licensed sunbed operators at Comino’s Blue Lagoon and the brother of Labor MEP Josianne Cutajar, was a canvasser for Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri in the 2022 general election.
Following The Shift’s report exposing that Cutajar, alongside Joseph Portelli’s partner Daniel Refalo, ran an effective deckchair and umbrella duopoly at the iconic Comino beach, further investigation has confirmed the link between Camilleri and Cutajar.
The management of Comino falls under the competence of the Minister of Gozo.
Pictured above with a jubilant smile and a red jumper with ‘Clint Camilleri’ written on it, Cutajar’s political activism on behalf of the minister may explain why the Gozo ministry has completely cut off journalists seeking answers on what the authorities will do about the situation at the Blue Lagoon.
On June 13, two days after Moviment Graffitti activists emptied all deckchairs and umbrellas in the Blue Lagoon after years of inaction by authorities, Lovin Malta published an article quoting Camilleri’s spokesperson claiming that the Minister n had nothing to add.
On the same day, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo promised to take a minor step towards liberating the sandy part of Blue Lagoon without committing to immediately implementing a holistic master plan for the area, despite the fact that Comino technically falls under the purview of the Ministry of Gozo.
While Cutajar appears to have hedged his bets on Camilleri, Refalo’s connection to controversial developer Joseph Portelli has also been highlighted. The latest controversial development is the approval of an extension of the outdoor development area’s pool terrace to a seven-storey block on the edge of the Marsalforn Valley.
The approval, which was granted in defiance of two recommendations for denial and more generally of the spirit of the Planning Authority’s own regulations, faced objections from several NGOs and individual conservationists .
The decision to approve Portelli’s project was so incongruous that even loyal Labor supporters spoke out against it.
Emanuel Cuschieri and Jason Micallef, former director of ONE News and now president of the Valletta Cultural Agency, both spoke along the same lines, saying the decision to approve the permit is a mark of shame on their own government. .
On Tuesday, the Nationalist Party, through its spokespersons Rebekah Cilia and Robert Arrigo, called on the government to ensure Blue Lagoon is accessible to everyone and not just those who have been “protected by the government”.