Malta looks forward 'to an abrogation of excessive deficit procedure'

Finance Minister confident that planned fiscal targets will be met

Maltese finance minister Edward Scicluna and Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis
Maltese finance minister Edward Scicluna and Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna welcomed the European Commission’s revised assessment of its draft budgetary plans presented with other euro area countries.

Scicluna, following a meeting of the euro finance ministers in Brussels on Monday, also confirmed that Malta’s reduction in the debt ratio planned for 2014 had been achieved.

“We are confident that soon we will be able to report the same for our fiscal targets. We therefore look forward to an abrogation of the excessive deficit procedure,” he said.

Scicluna said that Malta remained committed to undertake further structural reforms in 2015.

 “Malta is ready to undertake the necessary structural effort required in line with the requirements of the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the requirements of the Stability and Growth Pact. The reforms are bearing fruit, and each quarter over the last two years the rate of economic growth has been accelerating.”

During the Eurogroup meeting, eurozone finance ministers also discussed the latest proposals by the Greek Government, noting that policy discussions need to be based on fact-finding by European Institutions.

 There was a general concern that the liquidity situation in Greece is deteriorating, and that not enough is being done to assess the situation in a timely manner. The need for caution in communication was also stressed to ensure consistency of message. The Greek Finance Minister assured the Eurogroup that the Greek Government is eager to start technical discussions in order to conclude its review.

During the ECOFIN meeting held on Tuesday 10th March, the Minister also joined his colleagues in Council in supporting the Presidency's text on the Investment Plan for Europe (the so-called ‘Juncker Plan’).

Scicluna stated that many of the Commission's proposals especially in the area of transportation, energy, and ICT are of special interest to Malta, and will find the Maltese Government's full support.