Malta to keep momentum on current ECOFIN programme – Minister Scicluna

Malta, like some other Member States, still has some reservations on the proposed amendments to the Anti-Tax Avoidance Draft Directive (ATAD), and the Maltese Government requires more time to fully analyse and assess its implications, and to consult with the Opposition in Parliament.



Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna stated this during the ECOFIN meeting which was held yesterday in Brussels. The ECOFIN meeting had on its agenda various legislative and non-legislative proposals which included among others a proposal of the European Commission to amend ATADII, the extension to the European Fund for Strategic Investment, and an amendment to the Anti-Money Laundering Directive with regard to tax information.

Minister Scicluna assured the Council that during its tenure as the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Malta will keep the momentum on the proposal and will aim at reaching an agreement among all Member States.

The ECOFIN Council reached an agreement on the extension of the European Fund for Strategic Investment which is being extended until end-2020, and its investment target raised to €500 billion from the current €315 billion. Presented in 2014, the European Fund for Strategic Investment is part of the Investment Plan for Europe which aims to boost investment across the European Union and contribute to its economic recovery. Minister Scicluna said that Malta will be looking forward to concluding discussion with the European Parliament during Malta’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first semester of 2017.

An agreement was also reached regarding the amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The amendments oblige Member States’ governments to share information with tax authorities on anti-money laundering.

Prior to the ECOFIN Council meeting, Minister Scicluna participated in the EUROGROUP meeting which discussed the financial markets’ reaction following the Italian referendum, the economic situation in Greece, and the draft budget plans of Member States. Minister Scicluna said that Malta supports the need to strengthen economic growth, however, it should be done through the current fiscal rules. Minister Scicluna said that Malta agrees with the notion that budgets should be more growth-friendly and that Member States with a flexible fiscal space could do more; however, he reiterated Malta’s stance on the issue that such an approach should remain the prerogative of the Member States.

Minister Scicluna was accompanied by Ambassador Marlene Bonnici, Permanent Representative of Malta to the EU, Permanent Secretary Alfred Camilleri, and Chief of Staff Tania Brown.




Photos: Ray Attard

Wednesday 7th December 2016


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