During a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) Council held today 14 July 2015 in Brussels, Finance Ministers held an exchange of views on the Five Presidencies Report on the completion of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). During the meeting, Malta’s Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, remarked that “we should seek policies and direction which, whilst strengthening our economies, seek to unite us rather than divide us. The EMU is a means to an end and not an end in itself. We therefore support the Luxembourg Presidency agenda which seeks to strengthen the international competiveness of the EU”.
Today’s meeting, attended by the 28 EU Finance Ministers, followed up on the agreement reached at the Euro Area Summit early Monday morning. The agreement envisages an extensive reform agenda for Greece. The package is an ambitious one but it is necessary in order to put Greece back on track. The agreement still has to be approved by the Greek Parliament. Following that, the Eurogroup will mandate the institutions to start discussions on a Memorandum of Understanding which, once agreed, has to be approved by the Finance Ministers of the Euro area.
Speaking to the media prior to the ECOFIN meeting, Edward Scicluna said that the Eurogroup is working to identify the instruments to make a bridge loan possible for Greece. “Ideally there should also be solidarity from the whole European Union. After all, we are talking almost about a humanitarian need,” he said.
For the meetings the Minister for Finance was accompanied by the Permanent Representative of Malta to the EU, Marlene Bonnici, and the Finance Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Alfred Camilleri.
– Tuesday, 14th July, 2015