MEP’s in the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee gave a warm welcome to Minister Edward Scicluna, a former MEP and Vice-chair of the Committee during an Exchange of Views (EV) held with the ECON committee on Thursday 5th December 2013.
The coordinator of the EPP Mr Gauzes together with the S&D coordinator Elisa Ferreira had encouraging words for the challenging work that he was undertaking.
“I am very pleased with the overall positive feedback and encouragement received from MEPs from the various political groups sitting on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs,” remarked Finance Minister Prof. Edward Scicluna after the meeting.
Prof. Scicluna spoke of the Government’s economic and social priorities and how these influenced this year’s Budget. Among the main areas earmarked to be tackled as a matter of urgency include Malta’s dependency on oil, its low labour participation rate, its early school leavers and illiteracy, and other non-fiscal reforms including those for the courts and the health sector.
Prof. Scicluna also underlined the Government’s priority to introduce fiscal responsibility, and its goal to closing 2013 with a deficit of below 3%, and said that the divergence of opinion on this forecast between Malta and the European Commission will be resolved by the end of the year when the financial report will give a clear picture of the situation.
Prof. Scicluna also fielded questions on the budget coordination process at ECOFIN level, Malta’s cooperation with China as a strategic partner in the energy sector, the Banking Union and the Single Resolution Mechanism, the Common Fund, and the Individual Investor Programme.
With regard to the Draft Budget which was submitted to the Commission in mid October, Prof. Scicluna noted that while transparency is essential and that it is positive that EU Ministers are for the first time coordinating budget efforts, the publication of certain aspects of the Maltese Budget ahead of time caused some market disruption due to the speculation of impending changes to excise duties.
Speaking about Malta’s banking sector, Prof. Scicluna underlined how the stability and resilience of the Maltese Banking system showed itself during the financial crisis, when other banks in other Member States required assistance.
Speaking about the Individual Investor Programme, Prof. Scicluna said that Government wanted to set up a Development Fund which such a scheme could tie with. What had happened was the marketing team completed their work prior to the setting up of the Development Fund.
He added that useful talks are being held between the Government and the Opposition prior to the publication of the respective legal notices about the detailed workings of the scheme.
– Thursday, 5th December, 2013
Exchange of Views
ECON Committee meeting, intervention of the Finance Minister of Malta.
Comments and questions by ECON group coordinators:
Jean-Paul Gauzes (EPP)
Elisa Ferreira (S&D)
Sven Giegold (Greens)
Comments and questions by ECON S&D MEPs:
Peter Skinner (UK)
Liam. Hong Ngoc (France)
S Cutas (Romania)
|ECON Committee meeting, intervention of the Finance Minister of Malta.
|Comments and questions by ECON group co-ordinators, Jean-Paul Gauzes (EPP) and Elisa Ferreira (S&D).
|Comments and questions by ECON group co-ordinator, Sven Giegold (Greens).
|Comments and questions by ECON S&D MEPs Peter Skinner (UK), Liam. Hong Ngoc (France), S Cutas (Romania).
European Parliament / Audiovisual Services