The Malta Independent 18 October 2021, Monday

Scicluna Speaks out against blanket austerity measures

Malta Independent Sunday, 23 May 2010, 00:00 Last update: about 12 years ago

Maltese Labour European parliamentarian Edward Scicluna this week hit out against the concept of applying blanket economic austerity measures across the whole of the European Union.

Speaking during the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg on Wednesday, Prof. Scicluna stated his case by commenting, “To ask for austerity programmes to be applied indiscriminately across all members of the European Union, irrespective of their individual economic circumstances and indeed their fiscal position, is to condemn the whole European region to a prolonged period of anaemic economic growth, or worse.”

He added, “While it is a fact that many EU member states, including those in the eurozone, have reached an unsustainable fiscal situation, it is not just simply a matter of reversing this situation and doing this in the shortest time possible and ignoring the grave economic environment we are in.

“We cannot afford to suppress demand even in those countries that have surpluses both in their internal and in their external accounts and which can afford to spend more rather than less. We have to help the already very weak EU countries to stimulate their own economies, their exports and hence their job prospects.”

He insisted, “This is not a plea for postponing our actions in the area of public finances. Far from it. But let’s not be too dogmatic. The situation requires clear thinking. It also requires flexibility in many areas, not least in economic policy.”

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