PN insists Air Malta should seek local investors

PN to publish pre-budget document shortly • MHRA calls for regulation of non-collective accommodation

MHRA CEO Andrew Aguis Muscat presents association's budget proposals to opposition leader Simon Busuttil
MHRA CEO Andrew Aguis Muscat presents association's budget proposals to opposition leader Simon Busuttil

The government should seriously reconsider accepting local investment for Air Malta instead of only considering selling 49% of the airline shares to Alitalia which had already claimed it would not be spending one cent in the deal, according to opposition leader Simon Busuttil.

Busuttil was speaking Tuesday as he welcomed representatives of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA), who presented him with their proposals for the forthcoming budget.

He said the Nationalist Party felt it was worth pursuing the viability of local investment for Air Malta before embarking in a direction the country could regret in the future.

Busuttil also confirmed that the PN would shortly be publishing its own pre-budget document, as it had done last year.

MHRA CEO Andrew Agius Muscat said the association’s pre-budget proposals were collected in a document entitled ‘Creating Shared Value’ and were built upon last year’s recommendations.

He said the MHRA was conscious of the fact that the developers needed to recognise the importance of their surroundings in any project they undertook, but also pointed out the importance that development and investment in the industry be nurtured and supported.

The MHRA felt that private public partnership schemes (PPPs) should be encouraged and that better education, courses and training needed to be introduced to provide local trained personnel to fill the roles in the industry.

“With regards to Air Malta, MHRA has been consistent for the past six or seven years in calling for the possibility of the airline considering local investment before other options,” Agius Muscat said.

He told Busuttil that the MHRA was also seeking the introduction of regulation on non-collective accommodation to ensure a level playing field for all parties involved.

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