The Malta Independent 15 July 2024, Monday
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‘Fiscal policy stance to stay’, finance minister says

Malta Independent Saturday, 14 September 2013, 15:44 Last update: about 11 years ago

“While the recent economic data gives us reasons to be optimistic about Malta’s future outlook, we do not foresee the need to change the fiscal policy stance in Malta or anywhere in the European Union.

“One of the most urgent issues to address in the EU wide financial system is the lack of financing to SMEs,” Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said.

“Addressing youth unemployment is as important in the current scenario,” Prof. Scicluna added.

Prof. Scicluna was attending an informal Ecofin meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania held between 13 and 14 September, during which EU Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors held an exchange of views on the current economic situation and outlook, and financial policy stance.

The discussion focused on the situation in the financial markets in the euro area and the EU. Specific attention was given to the means through which SME financing in the short and medium term can be fostered, in particular specifying the parameters of SME financing instruments as proposed by the European Investment Bank and the European Commission during the June Ecofin Council and the June European Council.

Ministers also discussed the necessary measures to ensure the stability of the banking sector as well as other needed policy steps and reforms in the European financial system to help prevent and absorb any future shocks to the financial sector and reduce financial market fragmentation.  

There was also a discussion on the recent initiatives at the EU and global level related to automatic exchange of information with a goal to tackle more effectively issues related to tax fraud and tax evasion.

The Eurogroup meeting was preceded in by a discussion during which Eurogroup Finance Ministers discussed the economic outlook of the euro area, the Cypriot adjustment programme, the state of play in Portugal and the state of play on the Banking Union.

Minister Scicluna was accompanied by the Governor of the Central Bank of Malta, Josef Bonnici and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Finance, Alfred Camilleri.

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