The Malta Independent 19 September 2019, Thursday

Labour government regained EU funds ; PN reacts

Malta Independent Monday, 19 May 2014, 13:07 Last update: about 6 years ago

Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech said that the Labour Government managed to persuade the European Commission to make larger firms eligible for 15% EU funding, after initially they had not been eligible for any funding whatsoever.

Mr Grech said European Commission guidelines published in February 2013 made it clear that Malta had lost its objective 1 status, and only small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were to benefit from funding, with larger companies being left out of the equation. Initially, the commission told the government that not much could be done; however the government managed to negotiate 15% funding up till 2017; which will then decrease to 10%. The PL deputy leader said that if anything, it is the previous Nationalist government that could be blamed for the situation.

Mr Grech made the announcement at MCC this morning during consultation with social publics regarding allocation of European Union funds. Malta is eligible for €777 million in European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) and European Social Funds. PL’s deputy leader said that the bulk of the funds will be allocated towards innovation, training, research and social policy. Breaking down the total funds, Mr Grech said the government’s initial decision is to allocate €200m for research, €100m for transport and  €50m for SMEs. Other funds will be allocated for historical preservation and immigration amongst others.

Parliamentary Secretary for EU funds Ian Borg said that the government has now reached the 2nd stage of the process; and the government held its first meeting regarding funds with the opposition, as the period for funding extends the current legislation. Any governmental schemes deriving from EU funding will be launched as of this year. 


PN Reacts

In an official statement, the Nationalist Party said that the PL’s deputy leader Louis Grech is being deceitful by choosing not to mention a substantial decrease in incentives for Maltese businesses; as announced by a letter from the EU commission dated 7th May.

Earlier today, Louis Grech said that not much could be done regarding the situation, given the guidelines were published in February 2013 (pre-election) however the PN claims that the decision was taken abiding by guidelines published in June 2013 (post-election).

The PN said that the government is merely trying to shrug off the blame to hide its own incompetence. The party’s statement concludes by saying that back in 2012, the PN managed to increase funds for Gozo from €56 to €112million and this contrasts distinctively with the Labour Party’s accomplishments.

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