The Malta Independent 5 August 2020, Wednesday

Former PN MEP candidate warns that Malta could see hefty reduction in EU structural funds

Sunday, 23 February 2020, 11:10 Last update: about 6 months ago

Malta could see a reduction of €189 million from the EU's Structural (Cohesion) funds, Former PN MEP candidate Peter Agius has said.

Agius said that he came to this conclusion from his own calculations, corroborated by 'unofficial' sources.

"If confirmed, this would be unacceptable, especially now that it is becoming evident that we need to invest in a mass transport system, clean energy and the digital economy."

"Don't keep believing the Brexit excuse. The EU global budget proposed in Brussels last week was only 4% less than seven years ago. The reduction in funds for Malta seems to already amount to 20% when compared to the funds package negotiated by former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi."


He expressed his hope that the government is seriously exploring all arguments to turn these negotiations around and continue making a success out of the EU funds opportunity.

This is not the only warning the former PN MEP candidate has given. On 20 February he had said that Malta could get €36 million less in EU funds for agriculture than it did in its last financial package allocation, in terms of the Common Agricultural Policy Funds. He had said that "it is clear that Maltese farmers will be the first of many to suffer from the government's incompetence in negotiating EU funding responding to Malta's European aspiration."

European Union leaders broke up a marathon budget summit without a deal last Friday and their positions were still far apart.

After 28 hours of talks the leaders could not find a compromise, with a half dozen wealthy member states insisting they would not stump up more funds for the bloc's next long-term spending package, worth around one trillion euros ($1.1 trillion).

What's at stake is whether leaders are ready to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to European policy ambitions. At the same time, amid poor economic growth, they cannot afford to give the impression to their home audiences that they are splashing out taxpayers' cash.




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