22 Gozitan Monti hawkers have filed a judicial protest over government and Victoria Council plans to relocate them from It-Tokk to Savina square.
The whole saga dates back to October 2014 when the Victoria Mayor informed the hawkers of a proposal to relocate the market from Independence Square It-Tokk), to Savina Square.
In February 2015, the hawkers obtained a precautionary warrant to block the move and followed it up with a court case which is still pending.
Having renewed their licence with the Department of Trade and duly paid their fees just over three months ago, the hawkers were however forced to take their dispute to court once more.
Although the hawkers were once again granted a precautionary remedy by the court in March, they said they have been facing all sorts of obstacles and had even been approached by police officers who questioned their right to remain in It-Tokk.
Furthermore, in the past few days, the Department of Trade notified them of certain changes in their business licences. The market location is no longer specified and rather than being ‘fixed hawkers’ they now merely have a right to “a stall space allocated by the Rabat Local Council.”
The hawkers requested the court to order the authorities to abide by the terms of the precautionary warrants issued in their favour and to desist from hindering them in carrying out their everyday business.
The hawkers also called for the reversal of their licence conditions by the Trade department. Finally, they requested the court to call upon the police to intervene so as to protect the market vendors in their continued operation at it-Tokk.
Lawyers Ian Spiteri Bailey and Victoria Cuschieri signed the act.