Fabian Demicoli

GRTU Director General meets Honourable Anton Refalo Minister for Gozo


GRTU had a very successful meeting with Honorable Anton
Refalo the Minister responsible for Gozo. The GRTU delegation lead by Director
General Vincent Farrugia presented the following points.

Capital
Financing for Gozo: The need
for separate project Capital Financing for Gozo projects through the issue of
special Gozo Development Bonds was one major suggestion. GRTU strongly believes
that Gozitan depositors should be given an enhanced Bond offer, open also to
Maltese and foreign depositors, to enable the creation of special financing
bonds that can be utilized for the promotion of Public and Private projects in
Gozo.

Better access to finance for Gozo private enterprises: GRTU is
proposing an agreement with the Commercial Banks so that an agreed ratio of the
total value of deposits by Gozitan depositors in Local banks is reserved for
utilization as the basis for advances for projects proposed by Gozitan
business.

State Aid: GRTU is giving
all its support so that as soon as possible Micro Credit, Micro Invest and
Micro Gaurantee schemes are immediately revamped with the special enhanced
advantages for projects proposed by private entrepreneurs in Gozo.

Parking in Rabat: GRTU presented to the Minister proposals for the
better utilization of available parking spaces in Victoria until the Ministry's
proposed new Capital Investment in roofed parking is executed.

Parking in Xlendi: GRTU strongly urged the Ministry to take action
against the use of car parking places in the Xlendi Bay parking area by boat
trailers and boats and other non-car-parking. Too many parking slots are being
occupied by trailers etc… The parking area should remain for the exclusive
use of car owners making use of the services provided by the Business Community
in Xlendi.

Village Monti: GRTU stressed that too many unauthorized Monti
are opening up in various localities with Monti hawkers coming over
specifically from Malta together with an increase in the number of foreign
owned stalls. GRTU proposed that these Monti hawkers come under stricter
control as they provide gross unfair competition to licensed established
Gozitan retailers. This situation cannot be tolerated any further as these
hawkers are acting with complete disrespect to health, safety, food hygiene,
customer protection, guarantees, Eco Tax, Vat, and income tax laws.

Individual cases: GRTU informed the Minister that GRTU is
conducting on a regular basis a door to door business survey and will be
bringing to the attention of the Minister an up to date list of
individual complaints by Gozitan businesses seeking solutions to their
problems.

The Minister and his advisor Mr Frank Psaila gave a detailed
explanation of the work and planning on new projects being carried out by the
Gozo Ministry with the aim to advance the interest of enterprises in Gozo and
help sustain the viability of Gozo Enterprise, highlighting especially the
utilization of EU Funding. A number of specific proposals were also presented
for resolution of specific problems highlighted by GRTU.

GRTU is also insisting that Malta Enterprise should establish
a semi-autonomous Gozo Enterprise. Decisions on assistance to Gozo enterprises
should no longer be taken at Malta Enterprise in Malta. Gozitan enterprises
through Gozo Enterprise should be able and capable to take decisions affecting
Gozo enterprise directly. This includes any policies relating specifically to
Gozo.

The Honourable Anton Refalo was accompanied by Mr Frank
Psaila, his advisor while Michael Galea, Vice President GRTU and Mr Maurice
Borg, GRTU Council Member represented GRTU enterprises in Gozo.

It was agreed that the process of further structured meetings
will continue

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