Speaking during a meeting for euro area Ministers for Finance held on 11 February 2015, the Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna said that Malta is requesting assurances that the Greek debt will be repaid in full, before any concessions are discussed.
During the euro area meeting, the Ministers for Finance had the first opportunity to discuss the new Greek Government’s economic and financial vision and programme as well as the situation in Greece. The Greek Finance Minister outlined his Government’s economic and financial vision for his country. The meeting also discussed the status of the current Greek Adjustment Programme and its possible extension. In this regard, no agreement was reached.
While appreciating the economic and social realities in Greece, the Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna explained that, in the hour of need, Malta expressed its solidarity with the Greek people by borrowing in order to extend assistance to Greece.
“We gave Greece almost €200 million, which is equivalent to 2.4% of GDP. We went twice to Parliament to soften the terms, maturity, and the interest chargeable,” Minister Scicluna told the meeting. “Therefore before we start discussing concessions, we would like to get the assurance that this debt will be honoured in full, as nobody back home is ready to compromise on this.”
Minister Scicluna also stated during the meeting that “Malta will be working closely with all colleagues and is ready to find better remedies. On the other hand we have to be optimistic about the future.”
“Now that words like ‘flexibility’, ‘growth-friendly consolidation’, and ‘investment’ are becoming part of the Group’s vocabulary, you will find support from many countries for your growth oriented strategy which you outlined,” Minister Scicluna told his Greek counterpart.
“However, we must work within the current structures and rules in a spirit of solidarity and avoid confrontation. Our aims are yours too. We need a successful Greece with a strong economy and better quality of life for its people,” he added.
For the meeting, the Minister for Finance was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary Mr. Alfred Camilleri.
Thursday 12th February 2015