News, Press Releases


Kelliem ewlieni fil-laqgħa straordinarja tal-Ministri għall-Finanzi tal-Istati Membri ż-Żgħar tal-Commonwealth

Il-Ministru Scicluna ġie mistieden bħala kelliem ewlieni fil-laqgħa straordinarja tal-Ministri għall-Finanzi tal-Istati Membri ż-Żgħar tal-Commonwealth li trattat il-pandemija COVID-19, u li saret b’mod virtwali fit-2 ta’ Ottubru 2020. Din il-laqgħa laqqgħet flimkien ministri għall-finanzi minn stati żgħar u istituzzjonijiet finanzjarji internazzjonali, fosthom il-World Bank Group u l-IMF.

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

Il-laqgħa ġiet indirizzata minn Patricia Scotland, Segretarju Ġenerali tal-Commonwealth, Dr Manuela Ferro, Viċi President tal-World Bank Group u Dr Alejandro Werver mill-IMF.

Fl-intervent tiegħu, il-Ministru Edward Scicluna tkellem dwar kwistjonijiet li huma kritiċi u jolqtu b’mod speċjali lill-istati ż-żgħar.

Il-Ministru Scicluna qal, “L-istati ż-żgħar huma l-aktar vulnerabbli u l-impatt fuqhom huwa l-iktar devastanti, ħafna iktar minn pajjiżi oħra. L-istati żgħar jeħtieġu aktar spazju fiskali għall-manuvrabbiltà fi żmien ta’ kriżi esterna għall-ekonomiji tagħhom”.

Il-Ministru Scicluna tenna l-eżiti pożittivi li esperjenzat Malta fl-aħħar snin, fir-rigward tad-dejn nazzjonali. Għal ħamsa u tletin sena, Malta kienet kostretta li tissodisfa n-nefqa tal-baġit ta’ kull sena billi tirrikorri għal self. Dan ikkontribwixxa għal piż ta’ dejn li jaqbeż fuq is-70% tal-prodott domestiku gross. Il-Prof. Scicluna żied li dan kien ix-xenarju ta’ Malta sa seba’ snin ilu.

Il-ministru qal li matul l-aħħar tliet snin Malta bidlet id-defiċit f’bilanċ u d-dejn nazzjonali niżel għal 43% permezz ta’ żieda fit-tkabbir ekonomiku u b’diversi riformi ekonomiċi.

Il-Ministru Scicluna kkonkluda li din il-pandemija fl-aħħar mill-aħħar hija kriżi ta’ perjodu short-term, u dawk il-pajjiżi li għandhom spazju fiskali, jistgħu jaffordjaw li jaraw id-dejn tagħhom jiżdied sabiex jgħinu lill-familji u lin-negozji. Dan mhuwiex iż-żmien li ma nonfqux fejn hemm il-ħtieġa.

Matul il-laqgħa, il-ministri għall-finanzi flimkien ma’ xi prim ministri, iddiskutew il-ħtieġa ta’ ħelsien mid-dejn u aċċess aħjar għall-finanzi li huma meħtieġa biex jiġu indirizzati l-effetti li qed tħalli l-pandemija COVID-19. Il-punti li ġew diskussa matul din il-laqgħa se jinġabru f’rapport, sabiex jiġu mfassla strateġiji li għandhom jiġu diskussi fil-laqgħa tal-Ministri għall-Finanzi tal-Commonwealth li se ssir fis-7 ta’ Ottubru u fil-laqgħat tal-G20 u tal-COOP 26 li se jsiru aktar tard dan ix-xahar.

Minister Scicluna keynote speaker at the Commonwealth Extraordinary Small States Finance Ministers IFI Meeting

Minister Scicluna was invited as keynote speaker at the Commonwealth Extraordinary Small States Finance Ministers IFI Meeting on COVID-19, held virtually on the 2nd of October 2020, bringing together Finance Ministers from small states and international financial institutions, amongst which was World Bank Group and IMF.

PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR FINANCE AND FINANCIAL SERVICES

Minister for Finance and Financial Services Edward Scicluna kicked off the first session with opening remarks on issues that are critical and affect small states especially.

Minister Scicluna said, “Small states are most vulnerable, and the impact is the most devastating, much more than other countries.  Small states need more fiscal space for manoeuvrability in time of external shocks to our economies.”

During his speech, Minister Scicluna reiterated the positive outcomes Malta experienced in recent years in relation to the national debt.  For thirty-five years, Malta was constrained to meet each year’s budget expenditure by resorting to borrowing.  This contributed to a debt burden which went over and above 70% of Malta’s gross domestic product. Minister Scicluna added that this was Malta’s scenario until seven years ago.

Minister Scicluna said that, during the last three years, Malta turned the deficit into a surplus and the national debt has gone down to 43% by higher economic growth, added by a series of economic reforms.

Minister Scicluna concluded by saying that this pandemic is ultimately a short-term crisis, and those countries who have fiscal space can afford to see their debt increase to assist businesses and families.  This is not the time to economise on needs.

During the meeting, Finance Ministers, including some Prime Ministers, had an exchange of views and discussed the need for debt relief and improved access to concessional finance which is necessary to tackle the ensuring COVID-19 pandemic. The proceeds of this meeting will be complied into a report, to contribute in suggesting pathways and pragmatic strategies to be discussed at the Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting being held on the 7th of October and at the G20, which will be held later this month and COOP 26.

3rd October 2020


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