The Malta Independent 25 May 2020, Monday

Government should make use of EU funds to support struggling sectors - de Marco

Wednesday, 8 April 2020, 16:27 Last update: about 3 months ago

PN spokesman for finance Mario de Marco today said that the government should make use of EU funds to support struggling sectors.

Mario de Marco spoke about the European economic dimension in relation to the coronavirus crisis in our country.

The MP said that “governments run by the Nationalist party have already proven that our country can reap the benefits both through European funds, and through the solidarity policy pursued in practice by the European Union.”

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He added that “the core of politics is built on three main pillars which both the economy and man rests on. These are European solidarity which is conveyed into economic and social benefits, the flexibility needed to adapt to new changing circumstances, and adequate structures that respond quickly to the needs to people through available European funds.”

“During this period we can’t speak of economic growth, but we can speak of economic activity,” de Marco said.

He made an appeal to the government that “they should identify what are the best incentives and programmes to implement in our country for us to get back on our feet both socially and economically once this crisis is over.” He added that the government “should make use of European funds to support a number of sectors and negotiate the European budget for Malta for the next seven years, to have all the necessary mechanisms to leverage our economy which is built on the ability of our people.”

He added that the government should “ensure that European funds are being used and that this is a level playing field in order to leave no one behind.”

MEP Roberta Metsola said that “Europe can always do more.”

She said that “the response required for today’s situation is a guaranteed and effective solidarity. One can’t have effective solidarity without social justice, and one can’t have social justice if someone is left behind.”

“Our goal is to listen to our people, but with the help of the European Union and its funds we can make sure that no one is left to face this crisis alone.”

Nationalist MEP David Casa said that “this situation is a test for the European Union because at this moment it will show its solidarity.” He added that “there is a need for all countries to come together.”

Casa spoke about the funds of the European Union during such extraordinary times. He said that “there are a number of initiatives taken by the European Union, and funds that are in use, and which can be used by governments.”

He added that “unused European Union budgets could be passed on to governments such as Malta, for immediate use. Malta has been granted access to millions of euros that can be used as aid for workers, for self-employed, for business to invest in useful technology for teleworking, to pay workers in the health sector and also to buy medical apparatus.”

“In the coming days, in the European Parliament, we will be voting on what is being called the coronavirus plus investment, which is an initiative that will increase the flexibility for governments to use funds free of charge, and also transfer funds from one fund to another.”

PN MP Kristy Debono said that the European project began in one of the worst moments in European history, and that today "we are again living through a difficult time." She said that the EU could be the engine to help member states come out of this crisis and said that we must ensure no jobs are lost. EU funds should be used wisely and more effectively, she said.

The government can do much more to help businesses and employees, she said.


 

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