Malta could receive additional €100 million under EU compromise recovery plan

Malta could get extra €100 million over and above almost €1 billion it is slated to receive under EU coronavirus package

EC President Charles Michel with Malta PM Robert Abela
EC President Charles Michel with Malta PM Robert Abela

Malta could be set to received an extra €100 million added to the €992 million in grants and loans which it is slated to get under the EU’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

The additional envelope is being suggested by European Council chief Charles Michel as part of a compromise meant to lead to an agreement amongst EU leaders on the coronavirus fund.

The €100 million will each be given to Malta and Cyprus “in order to recognise the challenges posed by the situation of island member sates and the remoteness of certain parts of the EU.”

The money would be granted under the package’s “investment for growth and jobs" goal.

It will remain part of the original European Commission proposal for a €750 billion recovery fund - dubbed Next Generation EU - which is made up of €500 billion in grants and €250 billion in loans geared at addressing the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

The package, which had been announced in May, was met with caution by Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, who had said the country had to be wary of how the debt generated by the package would have to be paid off by member states.

Labour MEP Alfred Sant had warned that the recovery funds could benefit the EU’s different regions differently from others, saying that some member states could benefit at the expense of others.

EU expert and former Nationalist MEP candidate Peter Agius had emphasised that Malta had to ensure that it used its negotiating powers to steer the EU away from using digital taxes to generate the funds.

A rise in digital taxes would have an adverse effect on the profits of gaming companies based locally.