Fabian Demicoli

Long Discussions Between Prime Minister and GRTU Executive Council

 GRTU National Executive Council met the Prime Minister to discuss important pending issues that the GRTU has been striving to solve for quite some time but no solution with the authorities has been reached till now.
GRTU told the Prime Minister that for the last 60 years GRTU was very instrumental for self-employed and SMEs but the list of issues GRTU has pending with Government Authorities is too long. GRTU members can no longer bear being left pending and waiting to receive an answer they have been waiting for months if not years.

Accompanying the Prime Minister was Dr Simon Busuttil who spoke highly of the work done by GRTU and spoke about Government's initiative of meeting people, including people in business. The Prime Minister continued by thanking the GRTU for the several important proposals put forward along the years and for every year's Budget, from which Government issues schemes according to the GRTU suggestions as to what are the needs of SMEs. The Prime Minister also condemned the attacks on GRTU's Director General Vincent Farrugia and the GRTU and stated that respect should be    given to individuals and  organisations working for the betterment of our country.

Small Business Act

GRTU explained that according to the Small Business Act no Legal Notice having some kind of impact on the private sector had to be issued without an Impact Assessment. So far GRTU has never been presented with an impact assessment and as such no Legal Notices effecting business had to be issued, this is not however the case.

The Prime Minister informed the GRTU that Hon Jason Azzopardi will be discussing the issue with GRTU during a meeting that will take place in the coming days.

Right of Representation

GRTU explained the unjust decision taken by the Commission for Fair Competition where it was decided that GRTU cannot represent its members on issues that effect prices of goods and services. GRTU argued strongly this is a right most of our members depend on and therefore both the GRTU members and GRTU itself cannot be denied the right of representation.

The Prime Minster asked the GRTU to present an official case. This was done by the GRTU and currently Government officials are following up on the issue.

Rent Reform

GRTU explained this is a long standing issue both the GRTU and even more so its members are very hurt by. It is an important law that brought about drastic charges without any kind of consultation or modifications following strong representations by GRTU and its members. GRTU was never against the reform but this reform was very unjust on enterprise. GRTU once again presented its strong cases.

The Prime Minister once again told the GRTU he understood the points raised but he also understood the cases presented by the landlord. The Prime Minister was once again non committal on any of the aspects presented.

Cargo Hauliers

GRTU informed the Prime Minister that operators were very unhappy with the administration practiced by the Valletta Gateway Terminal (VGT) as they are encountering significant obstacles when trying to carry out their work.

The Prime Minister stated he did see the correspondence presented by the GRTU and thinks it is an issue of mismanagement on the side of VGT. The Prime Minister did however state that he would look into the matter and asked Dr Simon Busuttil to check if VGT is breaching the laws of concession.

Gas Distributors

GRTU explained how a Legal Notice changed the life for 31 distributors and how the situation was made worse with the involvement of the two companies. GRTU argued that either the distributors were kept to the districts or compensation would be given.

The Prime Minister said he is exploring a potential solution.

GRTU will be shortly reporting on further issues discussed with the Prime Minister and followed up.

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