Labour candidate will fight European tax harmonisation attempts

Banker James Grech says Malta has to defend its interests in the European Parliament

James Grech (right) with Joseph Muscat
James Grech (right) with Joseph Muscat

Labour candidate James Grech has launched his bid to become MEP in the next European elections of May 2019, with an event he hosted together with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

The Bank of Valletta director said he met Muscat in 2008, when he was preparing his own bid to become Labour leader, and praised him for having had then the vision of the Malta he had crafted now.

“Those who laughed then, know that Malta today is truly the best in Europe – in job creation, investment, public finances, and healthcare. European bankers ask me, how does a small island like ours without oil and natural resources create such job opportunities… I tell them it is all down to the constant work of the prime minister and his ministers.”

Grech said Europe was facing many challenges, not least with the departure of the UK and the effects it has had on such as issues as the EU budget, migration and security. “We need to protect Maltese interests and exploit all opportunities that we can get.”

Grech praised Muscat’s role in seeking solutions on immigration together with other countries, said that as MEP he would work on European solutions on this other challenge.

Grech said he wanted to defend Malta’s competitive advantage on taxation, and for Malta to enjoy a balance on excessive regulation which had thrown excess burdens on small companies and clients, dampening investment. “Taxation is a strong tool for small countries on the European periphery to overcome disadvantages. If elected I will fight tax harmonisation.”