Fabian Demicoli

The EU Commission and Malta: GDP Growth and EDP

 GRTU declared publicly that the European
Commission's decision to place Malta again under Excessive Deficit Procedures
(EDP) merely six months after Malta's successful exit from the previous EDP
imposition, was an unjust treatment of Member State Malta and a highly uncalled
for decision by the EU.
The negative image impact this decision has on Malta
was fortunately not compounded due to the fact that Malta's sovereign debt is
not subject to fluctuations on the Government Bonds international Market. Malta
would have had to pay an unjustly imposed heavy price were it not for the fact
that Malta Government Bonds are practically all locally owned. The Maltese have
greater faith in their Country than the EU Commission has and the EU decision
was effectively dismissed by the local money market with no damaging effects on
Government's finance.

Official statistics show that 2012
closed with a 3.3% government Deficit as ratio of GDP. A mere 0.3% above the 3%
ceiling imposed by the EU. This is a ceiling whose relevance to Malta is itself
arguable. But these are Malta Government's own Statistics. The Central Bank of
Malta's figures showed a more trustworthy 2.7% deficit to GDP ratios – well
below the EDP limit.

Malta during 2012 was one of the very
few Member States whose economy showed positive growth yet unlike other Member
States who in their majority had negative GRP growths.  This positive trend continued even in the
first quarter of 2013 with Malta's economy growing by 1.6%. Yet it has been
little Malta that was targeted by the EU Commission for highly negative
criticism.

The potential for Malta to continue to
stay within the acceptable Deficit targets exist and Maltese entrepreneurs are
fully supportive of all Government's initiatives to boost GDP growth and
maintain stable Government finance. EU Commission Economic analysts have very
little economic grounds on which to stand on in their pessimistic assessment of
Malta.

GRTU believes that the Commission owes
Maltese investors and entrepreneurs an explanation. It was bad enough for Malta
to be highlighted in the Press Conference announcing the Country Specific
Recommendations of the Commission. Hopefully, the EDP decision will not hamper
Malta's economic prospects.

Malta deserves better. Maltese
entrepreneurs strive hard to invest and make the Maltese economy grow and
establish an excellent name in international economic performance analysis. It
was bad enough that the Chairman of the EU Finance Ministers only some months
ago blemished Malta's good name by comparing falsely Malta with Cyprus. Now the
EU Commission has put its foot in it also by declaring Malta under EDP when
there was no need for such a harsh and negative imposition. We simply did not
deserve all this.

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