“While we look up to the beyond with an appropriate vision, we have to ensure that we keep our feet on the ground”, said Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna during the ECOFIN council meeting in Brussels. The meeting’s agenda included the deepening of the European Monetary Union, the VAT package, the European Semester, and the implementation of the action plan on non-performing loans.
PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR FINANCE
Minister Scicluna stressed the need to close the gap between those who are very ambitious and want to run and those who are insisting on first mending what is broken. What is sure, is that the current window of opportunity should not be lost.
With regards to the general discussion on the future of the European Monetary Union, Minister Edward Scicluna opted for an inclusive discussion in an extended format with all EU member states present and not merely among the 19 euro area members.
The Finance Minister added that agreement will not be easy but ultimately a convergence will be reached. Expectations need to be managed. Minister Scicluna cautioned on the approach to be used as it is important to be pragmatic and start with what was do-able since every project is, after all, inter-connected. These include the completion of the Banking Union, the Capital Markets Union, and the strengthening of the ESM. In the latter case, we need to maintain the current governance structure.
Minister Scicluna wished for less discussion and more work since the EU’s credibility was at stake.
The previous day, Minister Scicluna participated in the Eurogroup meeting wherein the European Monetary Union was also discussed as a follow-up to the Euro Summit held in December. The final tranche to Greece was also decided during the meeting.
On the margins of the above meetings, Professor Scicluna held a bilateral meeting with Commissioner for Taxation Pierre Moscovici. During the meeting, the Minister and the Commissioner discussed Malta’s current economic and financial outlook and Malta’s plans for enacting the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD), and exchanged views on the current and future developments in the taxation fields both in Europe and globally.
Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna was accompanied by Malta’s EU Permanent Representative Marlene Bonnici and Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary Alfred Camilleri.
Tuesday 23rd January 2018