Fabian Demicoli

MEUSAC discusses Libya

During a MEUSAC meeting this morning chaired by the Hon. Chris Said, The Hon. Tonio Borg, Deputy Prime Minister, explained at length what the Government's position is now, in the short term and the long term with respect to the ongoing Libya Crisis.

 

The meeting also discussed what impacts this crisis is having on Tourism, employment and Maltese business interests in Libya. GRTU reiterated its position regarding Maltese businesses and the difficulties they carry, namely that the Government of Malta should defer various payments due by companies active in Libya, namely, but not solely, payments on VAT, Inland Revenue, and if necessary Water and Electricity.

GRTU also encouraged the Government to engage the banks on behalf of those businesses who were involved in Libya. GRTU is informed that certain banks are giving such clients a very hard time, with unreasonable demands being made to pay back capital used for Libya operations.

GRTU also asked the Government to consider a guarantee scheme to give Maltese businesses involved in Libya some respite with certain banks. It has to be said that all banks, with one notable exception, were taking such extreme attitudes with Maltese businesses involved in Libya.

Both Dr. Borg and Dr. Said stated that Government was doing its utmost to tap any available funds the EU may have. This was a welcome departure from the flat "Nien" of Minister Tonio Borg on last Monday's Bondiplus programme. GRTU concluded that now that the Government has the whole picture, it should immediately see how it could help. GRTU again stressed that the Government has to get tough with the banks.

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