Fabian Demicoli

GRTU calls for information on Air Malta’s financial situation

GRTU President Paul Abela and Deputy
President Philip Fenech have this week participated in a public consultation
session where the Minister of Finance Edward Scicluna discussed Malta's
financial situation. 

In reply to GRTU Hon Scicluna
said that the loan worth €52 million which was provided by the European
Commission, to prevent the collapse of Air Malta, was a one time occurrence
which will not be given to the airline a second time, so it is crucial to get
it right.

It has been forecasted that in
March 2014, Air Malta's financials may experience €30 million in losses, the
year in which the airline should be heading for a breakeven situation.

This concern was raised by
Philip Fenech during one of a series of public consultation sessions organised
by the Malta-EU Steering and Action Committee (MEUSAC). Mr Fenech expressed his
concern over Air Malta's future and the fact that flights to Libya had been
stopped as a result of the war, which comes at a time when the national carrier
is attempting to break even"It is the interest of every citizen, of the
industry and mine that Air Malta reaches its targets…but your guess is as good
as mine," Scicluna replied.

Following these remarks, Prof.
Scicluna reiterated that the Budget 2015 targeted those who were on social
benefits, by encouraging them to join the workforce. In this regard GRTU
President Paul Abela said that GRTU will be sending its budget proposal list as
usual and it will focus on increasing access to finance and the recommendation
to include favourable interest rates for businesses. GRTU is concerned that the
level of bank lending to business has decreased which would continue to hinder
Malta's economy and therefore it requests that the Government should intervene
to improve this situation. 

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