Minister for Finance encourages EU Initiatives which favour SMES

“Malta fully supports the European Investment Bank to continue on the current path of assisting schemes aimed at SMEs”. This was stated by the Minister for Finance, Edward Scicluna, during the ECOFIN Council meeting held in Brussels on Tuesday 28th January 2014.


Minister Scicluna stated that the EU needs to support initiatives in favour of SMEs. He lauded the European Investment Bank’s SME initiatives and added that the EU must ensure that bureaucratic impediments which could place burdens on SMEs must be avoided. The Minister also noted that Malta has experienced the success of such SME-friendly schemes through the JEREMIE initiative for which guarantees are provided to local banks to extend loans to SMEs.

During the meeting, Prof. Scicluna emphasised the need for the EU to continue to place focus on growth and jobs. The Minister also pointed out that while there are large European and international companies which are not short of finance, this is not the case for SMEs. That is why the EU and EIB’s interventions need to be targeted.


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During the meeting, the Greek Presidency of the European Council also presented its work programme on economic and financial affairs, stating that its priority is to support economic growth and employment, and to restore confidence in the EU’s financial sector.

Following the ECOFIN Council meeting, Minister Scicluna held a bilateral meeting with the European Commission Vice-President, Olli Rehn, Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, where he reported on Malta’s economic and financial progress and the reforms being undertaken in the energy, employment, education and judicial fields as outlined in the Budget.

During the meeting Minister Prof. Edward Scicluna was accompanied by Malta’s Permanent Representative to the European Union, Ambassador Marlene Bonnici, and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mr Alfred Camilleri.



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– Tuesday, 28th January, 2014

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