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[WATCH] Malta's chances of hosting EMA 'difficult but doable', parliamentary secretary says

The competition to host the European Medicines Agency after Brexit is very fierce as all the countries vying to host the agency realise how much the host economy would benefit, Deo Debattista has said

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks
10 August 2017, 12:24pm
Deo Debattista said that many larger countries, like France, Spain and Germany were fighting hard to win the right to host the EMA (MediaToday/James Bianchi)
Deo Debattista said that many larger countries, like France, Spain and Germany were fighting hard to win the right to host the EMA (MediaToday/James Bianchi)
Malta's chances of hosting EMA 'difficult but doable', parliamentary secretary says
The competition to host the European Medicines Agency after Britain leaves the European Union is very fierce as all the countries vying to host the agency realise how much the host economy would benefit, the parliamentary secretary for consumer affairs, Deo Debattista, said today. 

Malta is one of 19 EU member states bidding to host the EMA post-Brexit as of April 2019. 

During a ceremony to officially launch Malta's bid, Debattista said that many larger countries, like France, Spain and Germany were fighting hard to win the right to host the EMA. 

"This is no surprise when you consider that the agency is calculated to generate €1 billion each year in the local economy," he said. 

"Although we think Malta has presented one of the best bids, we recognise this is a very difficult bid and that our chances are relatively slim."

Debattista said that Malta more than fulfilled the EU's requirements, with regards to accessibility, economy, education system, security and health services. 

Malta is offering to house the agency in a bespoke 30,000 square metres building to be built in SmartCity but it is also offering additional bonus incentives, including no rent fees for 15 years and a dedicated office to facilitate the move from the UK to Malta for the 900 employees and their 500 partners and 620 children. 

The government said in its bid it was confident it could get the building finished six months ahead of the April 2019 translocation deadline, but even so, it had already identified alternate sites where to house EMA offices in the interim if the construction encoutered any unforeseen delays.

When asked how the government was promoting SmartCity as including mid- to high-end residential residences, when the plan for the development had not yet been approved by Parliament, Debtattista said that if Malta was to win the EMA bid, the government would definitely accelarate the process to have all necessary plans approved.

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...