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Two-thirds of my time now spent fighting bureaucracy

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna has singled out bureaucracy as a major obstacle to economic growth, saying he spent “at least two-thirds” of his time trying to overcome it. Speaking at the Hilton during a presentation on the EY Eurozone and Malta forecasts, he gave as an example a 10-hour debate at committee stage in Parliament, merely to adjust administration fees. “Administration fees are not an exercise in cost recovery. These fees are ... [+]

Our interest in Greek saga

On the financial front, Greece took centre stage last week, with an insurmountable problem to solve. The ever-increasing burden of the public debt, now standing at 175 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and its 25 per cent cut in its GDP since the beginning of the crises, ... [+]

Private sector is driving force

I would be a very worried minister and member of this government if the surge in Malta’s economic growth was solely, or primarily, due to uncontrolled government employment. But this is the picture which the Opposition is trying to depict. It is building its case through anecdotal evidence and questionable ... [+]

The ‘€400m discrepancy’

Arriva was bought by the government for one euro and that needed explaining. A €4 million value needs as much explaining if not more. And that is what the National Statistics Office (NSO) did in its latest newsletter on the subject of Malta’s deficit and debt for the year 2013. But ... [+]

Malta’s clean bill of health from Brussels

Debt is sustainable and the financial sector stable, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna has said, citing the European Commission’s review of Malta while lambasting the Opposition’s negativity over the government’s initiatives on the economy. He was speaking in Parliament, which on Wednesday approved the Budget Measures Implementation Bill in its the second ... [+]

Regaining Malta’s credibility

Nobody as yet knows what the final, accrued deficit figure for 2013 is expected to be. It will be a few more weeks before the Treasury and the National Statistics Office submit the public accounts to Eurostat for their scrutiny and subsequent confirmation, sometime during the third week of April. And ... [+]

Deficit aim ‘credible’

The Government decided to raise the target deficit for 2013 from 1.7 to 2.7 per cent to be more credible and realistic in its projections and would now have to face the European Commissioner to give him a detailed explanation of the €70 million increase in expenditure, which inevitably affected ... [+]

From ‘good performer’ to laggard

Only four years ago an EU official had gone on record saying that Malta had managed to learn the ropes of a complicated and highly bureaucratic system very well and was performing much above its weight. He was referring to the absorption of funds under the 2000-2006 financial programme. It ... [+]

Cyprus: a lesson for life

There is nothing more undignified than the sight of a bankrupt person begging for assistance. The contrasts between the cosy and sometimes sumptuous living before the event and the state of helplessness and destitution soon after are stark indeed. While generous persons may come forward to offer their help, they ... [+]

THE ECONOMY, PUBLIC FINANCE AND THE ELECTIONS

One tends to recall that the economy and elections are very much related. The famous statement “the economy stupid” was coined with this in mind. Leaders of contesting political parties can only ignore the economy at their own peril argues Prof Edward Scicluna. Let’s unearth why...Incumbent governments know how important ... [+]

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