Chamber appeal echoes PM’s call to navigate stormy international waters

Chamber of Commerce: ‘Of course public transport is important… but we must recognise the international economic situation requires our full attention and more.’

The Chamber of Commerce has called on political leaders to refocus on the “right priorities” and not become too distracted by issues that are “strictly local”, referring to the public transport reform that dominated the past months and led Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi to call for a vote of confidence in his government.

“Of course it transport reform is important, but we must also recognise that the international economic situation requires our full attention and more,” Chamber president Tancred Tabone said.

“The country needs to focus on the issues at hand, particularly in the light of the economy’s vulnerability to the turmoil that continues to surround us. What continues to take place in Greece and indeed the current events in Italy are a stark reminder that international instability has become the norm and that the economic scenario is changing on a daily basis.”

He said the Chamber expects new measures in Budget 2012 that tackle the restructuring of Air Malta and rising fuel costs, and that will continue to attract foreign investment and enhance national competitiveness.

Tabone said raising tax levels or introducing new taxes during 2012 are not an option.

Tabone said Malta had withstood recent storms well enough, but that MPs should not allow any further distractions upon themselves. “We would be foolish to allow ourselves to fall into some kind of comfort zone wherein we start to believe that we are immune to all that is happening around us.”

The Chamber president said Malta was faring well thanks to key reforms and an enterprising private sector. But he warned that while employers went through significant hardships to safeguard jobs and protect human capital during the past recession, there was no guarantee that these same employers will be able to do so again.

“The situation is an extremely delicate one and we must act carefully to ensure we do not to create a crisis when one does not exist,” Tabone said.

To Mr.B.Agius Well said,the only thing GONZIPN is proud of is AUSTIN GATT,an MP who managed to make costly mess out of every department GONZI trusted him with.
What is the meaning of the "certificates" given by the EU to Malta that Gonzi is so proud of? Certified by a bunch on incompetents. These are the same people that certified Greece, who lied about their economy, finances and allowed them to enter the Euro zone. These experts “monitored” (if you can say that) the situation for the last 10 years and did NOTHING. Now they want to fix the problem. They shouldn’t have allowed the problem to begin, if only any one was doing his job, we wouldn't be were we are now.
Public Transport is not as important as it has been made out. Only the incompetence of everyone involved in the reform made it so important. To the extent the Govt is responsible and accountable , one has to wonder whether they would know what they're doing within the EU vis a vis banks and the country's finances if they weren't even able to put together the main features of the transport reform. That's the worry. Why would one believe that only Malta and Germany are doing well within the EU/Euro zone. Because the Govt says so? Where are the independent financial experts and what do they say? What is the meaning of the "certificates" given by the EU to Malta that Gonzi is so proud of?