The Malta Independent 25 May 2020, Monday

More economic measures to come to help employees overcome effects of Coronavirus - PM

Giulia Magri Tuesday, 7 April 2020, 20:04 Last update: about 3 months ago

In the past month the government has put forward three financial packages to help businesses and employees, byt Prime Minister Robert Abela has hinted that more economic measures are to come.

"This pandemic has had a huge effect medically, but also on our economic sector, on a diverse number of sectors, employees and businesses." Abela was speaking on ONE's programme, 'Pjazza', where he said that there is 'more to come', in regards to helping the economy and employees during this difficult period.

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"Today I held a discussion with the maritime sector representatives, who explained to me that they are experiencing a very difficult period and that thousands of employees are being affected across the board. This is why we set up a number of ambitious measures to help our workers, and more is to come," said Abela. He said that the government is working on more measures to help businesses and employees.

He said that he believes it is important to provide support to those employers and employees, and that he believes that Malta will not only have a strong healthcare but also a strong economy.

"We must come out of this episode, and hit the ground running," said Abela.

 He said that he wants to look back at this period as a time when the health care service was strong, where resilient businesses and workers did everything to work together collectively. "It is not the most beautiful moment, actual a very difficult one, but one which will make us stronger. I have faith in our workers, in our industry, our healthcare and economy."

On the topic of a social measures, Abela said that he hopes that the government will not have to take more strict measures. "It is important that the public takes all the measures which are in place very seriously. These are days of sacrifice and it all depends on how disciplined we will be; if we are not discipline enough, the reality is that the government will have to increase measures."

Abela appealed that everyone is to take on their responsibility seriously. "I understand that there are people at home who are panicking and scared, and I appeal for peace and calm, as we will have a more beautiful future ahead of us." He said that the all the measures which have been in place were discussed with Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne, and himself. "We wrote and discussed all the measures together; the first two phone calls I receive in the morning are from Gauci and Fearne, we take this seriously and work together."

On the note of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson being admitted into hospital due to COVID-19, Abela stressed that this is a lesson for everyone, that no one is more powerful than others, despite social background and money. "It is irrespective of your social background, the power you have, or money, we are all human, and this virus affects us all. We must stand in solidarity together."

Regarding the mandatory 14 day quarantine at the Hal Far open Centre, the Prime Minister said that the measures taken are no different to what every other Maltese, Gozitan or third country national is facing currently. "All those who are tested positive are undergoing self-isolation, and those close to those individuals are to self-quarantine.  These measures are not discriminatory and are no form of racism, but these measures are for our public health; the health of the Maltese, Gozitans and all other nationalities living in Malta."


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