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Diskors ta’ tislima f’isem il-Ministri għall-Finanzi tal-Unjoni Ewropea

Il-Ministru għall-Finanzi u s-Servizzi Finanzjarji Edward Scicluna ġie magħżul mill-Eurogroup sabiex f’isem il-Ministri għall-Finanzi tal-Unjoni Ewropea jagħmel diskors ta’ tislima lil Mario Centeno fl-aħħar laqgħa tiegħu bħala President tal-Eurogroup. Il-laqgħa tal-Eurogroup saret nhar il-Ħamis 9 ta’ Lulju 2020. Il-Prof. Centeno informa lill-Ministri għall-Finanzi li kien ser jispiċċa mill-kariga ta’ Ministru għall-Finanzi tal-Portugall u għalhekk ma kienx se jkompli t-tieni terminu bħala President tal-Eurogroup.

STQARRIJA MILL-MINISTERU GĦALL-FINANZI U S-SERVIZZI FINANZJARJI

Matul id-diskors tiegħu, il-Ministru Scicluna ta ħarsa lejn uħud mill-kisbiet tal-Prof. Centeno. Semma wħud mis-suċċessi li ġew irreġistrati fil-Portugall matul il-mandat tiegħu bħalma kienet il-waqgħa ta’ 14-il punt perċentawal fil-Prodott Domestiku Gross sa tmiem is-sena 2019 u t-tnaqqis kostanti fid-defiċit fiskali li wassal lill-Portugall sabiex jirreġistra bilanċ pożittiv għall-ewwel darba sa mill-1973.

Il-Ministru Scicluna qal, “Il-Eurogroup kien ixxurtjat ħafna li kellu lill-Ministru għall-Finanzi Centeno fit-tmexxija għal dawn l-aħħar sentejn u nofs u bħala membru għal kważi ħames snin. Grazzi għall-perseveranza, il-paċenzja, l-aġilità politika u l-ħiliet diplomatiċi tiegħu, il-Eurogroup irnexxielu jneħħi d-differenzi fi ħdanu fuq kwistjonijiet diversi u kumplessi. Taħt it-tmexxija għaqlija tiegħu, il-Eurogroup wera għal darba oħra l-abilità biex iqum għall-okkażjoni fi żminijiet diffiċli.”

Il-Ministru Scicluna fakkar ukoll l-iktar sfidi kruċjali li l-Unjoni Ewropea affaċċjat matul il-presidenza tiegħu. Il-Ministru Scicluna semma l-konverġenza gradwali fir-riforma tal-ESM u l-hekk imsejjaħ Strument Baġitarju għall-Konverġenza u l-Kompetittività (BICC), il-pjan għall-Unjoni Bankarja kompluta u l-pandemija globali tal-COVID-19 li wasslet għall-agħar tnaqqis ekonomiku sa mid-Dipressjoni l-Kbira.

Il-Ministru Scicluna, f’isem il-Ministri għall-Finanzi kollha, irringrazzja lil Mario Centeno għas-servizz tiegħu u awguralu kull success għall-futur tiegħu.

L-elezzjoni għall-president il-ġdid saret fi tmiem il-laqgħa. Il-Ministri għall-Finanzi tal-Unjoni Ewropea eleġġew lil Paschal Donohoe bħala l-president il-ġdid tal-Eurogroup, għal terminu ta’ sentejn u nofs.

Farewell speech on behalf of EU Finance Ministers

Minister for Finance and Financial Services Edward Scicluna was chosen by the Eurogroup to deliver the farewell speech on the group’s behalf at Mario Centeno’s last Eurogroup meeting as President of the Eurogroup. The Eurogroup meeting was held on Thursday, the 9th of July 2020. Prof. Centeno informed Finance Ministers that he would be stepping down as Portugal’s Finance Minister, and hence not seeking the second term as President of the Eurogroup.

PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR FINANCE AND FINANCIAL SERVICES

During his speech, Minister Scicluna recalled some of Prof Centeno’s achievements. He highlighted some of the successes registered in Portugal during his term as Minister for Finance, such as the GDP drop by 14 percentage points by the end of 2019 and the steady reductions in the fiscal deficit, which led Portugal to record a budget surplus for the first time since 1973.

Minister Scicluna said, “The Eurogroup was very fortunate to have had Finance Minister Centeno at the helm for the past two and a half years, and as a member for nearly five years. Thanks to his perseverance, patience, political agility and diplomatic skills, the Eurogroup managed to bridge its differences on so many different and complex issues. Under his competent leadership, the Eurogroup demonstrated once again its ability to rise to the occasion in difficult times.”

Minister Scicluna also recalled the most critical challenges faced by the European Union at the time of his Presidency. He mentioned the gradual convergence on the features of the ESM reform and the so-called Budgetary Instrument for Convergence and Competitiveness (BICC), the road map for a completed banking union and the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which triggered the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Minister Scicluna, on behalf of all the Finance Ministers, thanked Mario Centeno for his service and wished him all the success in his future endeavors.  

The election for the new President was held at the end of the meeting. The EU Finance Ministers elected Paschal Donohoe as the new Eurogroup President, for a term of two and a half years.

Friday 10th July 2020


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