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Eurogroup President in Malta for EU presidency talks

The current president of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, is in Malta for bilateral talks ahead of the island's stint at the helm of the European Council

Miriam Dalli
24 November 2016, 12:35pm
Jeroen Dijsselbloem met Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and finance minister Edward Scicluna in Valletta
Jeroen Dijsselbloem met Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and finance minister Edward Scicluna in Valletta
Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem is in Malta for talks with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Finance Minister Edward Scicluna as the island prepares to take over the presidency of the European Council in January.

In introductory comments ahead of a private meeting, Muscat said that Malta wanted to prioritize a number of items during its Presidency, including ongoing changes to the banking sector.

"We are thrilled to have you as one of our counterparts during these busy six months ahead of us. We want to make sure that there are some items on the agenda which we feel we are best positioned at understanding the realities of smaller countries," the Prime Minister said.

Muscat said one issue to be discussed was the governance of the euro summit, with Malta being "in a position of strength" as a country which grew economically and expanded its safety net. Not only Malta is out of the excessive deficit procedure, he added, but the country has a budget surplus and a debt-to-deficit ratio which is under control.

"We may not be the stereotype of southern Europe," he quipped.

On his part, Dijsselbloem acknowledged Malta's economic successes, describing it as an example to show that "well-governed nations can do well despite challenges".

Among the topics on the agenda are budgetary issues and the future of the monetary union.

Miriam Dalli joined in 2010 and was assistant editor fr...