In comments given to this newspaper about how Malta is affected, MEP Edward Scicluna vice-chairman of the Committee for Economic and Monetary Affairs of the EU said:
“Of course it matters a lot. Malta is still developing and is a long way from converging to the top euro zone countries’ median income. Our infrastructure especially, is below par and needs funding”.
He added that our energy needs to get project finance to be sustainable both in supply and efficiency.
“Let us put it this way, since we pay about €65 million a year to the EU budget we are not in a position yet to become a net contributor to the EU. That is why we need at least about €120 million a year to continue with our development,” he pointed out.
Malta is technically no longer an Objective One country. Our GDP per capita is above the EU median. But this happened not because the economy grew above the EU average over the last seven years but because the EU income media actually fell when two poorer countries, Bulgaria and Romania became EU members during the interim period.
Our chances of getting the required funding from the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Rural and Development Fund (ERDF) and the Social Cohesion Fund (SC) depend on whether the EU Budget will be cut, frozen or increased as a result of the discussions between the net contributors and net beneficiaries for the next seven year financial framework, he continued.
“On this all Maltese should be united in demanding a fair treatment from the EU and fellow member states,” Prof. Scicluna believes.
– The Malta Independent : Monday, 17 December 2012