Fabian Demicoli

GRTU President at UEAPME Administrative Council

 This
week President Paul Abela has attended the UEAPME Administrative Council in
Brussels. UEAPME is the Association of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, of
which GRTU is a full member.

A
guest of the Council was Mme Françoise
Le Bail, Director General at DG Justice. She was invited for the session
entitled Justice for Growth. President Abela asked Mme La Bail about a fee
requested out of all local companies in relation to data protection. Mme La
Bail stated that she would like to verify this, however local authorities
should have enough funds and resources given to them from the local Government
not to necessitate the request of funds from local enterprises. Therefore local
authorities should not request fees from enterprises.

Mme Le Bail also discussed the Insolvency Regulation
and the Late Payments Directive with the UEAPME Council. She stated that
especially Governments should only make orders if they have the funds for them
and pay within 15days. She said that the problem of late payments by
Governments varied within the Member States however within all Member States
they are a primary cause of strive for small businesses most especially and
Ministers should make their utmost to find a solution to this problem.

The issue of banks repossession of property was also
discussed. It was mentioned that in Sweden for instance banks do not take 100%
hypothecation on a property but 30%.

Late last month, thanks to Hon Jason Azzopardi,
Minister for Fair Competition, Small Businesses and Consumer Affairs, Mr Abela
has had another opportunity to meet UEAPME Secretary General Andrea Benassi as
he was also invited to join the delegation of SME Envoys in Malta. During his
meeting with Mr  Benassi President Paul
Abela had the opportunity to discuss the loan guarantee and micro credit. The
meeting of the SME envoys in Malta was a very good initiative for which we have
Hon Azzopardi to thank. It must be mentioned that it was on Hon Azzopardi's
initiative that this successful Envoy meeting was held in Malta.

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