The Malta Independent 30 November 2022, Wednesday
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Malta has lowest youth unemployment rate in EU – Abela

Sunday, 4 July 2021, 11:09 Last update: about 2 years ago

Malta has the lowest youth unemployment rate in the EU, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Sunday.

Prime Minister Robert Abela referred to Eurostat unemployment statistics. He said that work is the basis for many things. The Eurostat statistic shows that the seasonally-adjusted monthly unemployment rate for May stood at 3.7%, down 0.8 percentage points from the same month in 2020.

He said that while numbers give a clear indication, being close to people to understand what they are feeling is crucial. "This is how we are able to create our policies for the elderly, for families, for youths, which result in an improvement to the quality of life."

He said that two positive news points came out of the unemployment statistics. There were 2,500 people who were unemployed and in the past 10 months found employment. "There are 2,500 people who can today live better live, have better aspirations for their future."

"The second is that in June this year, when we continued relaxing the pandemic measures, we had 1,100 people who found employment. This is a statistic that fills me with courage. Malta has the lowest unemployment rate among youths in the EU," he said.

All this was done while the country is still passing through a pandemic, he said.

"These results are achieved as people are at the centre of our work," he said. 

He spoke of the news that medication for In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) processes will now become free of charge as of next year. "Why did we increase this service? As we continued talking and listening to people, understanding their challenges. And so today we will continue to strengthen this service."

He said that the government is credible in this sector. He spoke of the impact this change will have on the lives of people trying to have children. "We made it a reality to try for IVF without financial worries."

"Over the past years the dreams of many people to become parents became reality and in the coming years we want to continue making this dream a reality for more people."

The Prime Minister also said that this week, the medicine for cystic fibrosis arrived in the country. He said he was in contact with a patient who had told her story and spoken about the struggles she faced. "I had given her my word that we would offer access to the medication she needed, paid for by government... It was not easy to bring this medicine quickly due to its particular nature." He looks forward to patients being able to make use of this medication to help improve their quality of life.

Turning to the EU Recovery & Resilience plan, he said that this was part of what the government had negotiated last year "where the Opposition had said that we would not manage to secure as much funds as they had in 2012. We got more than double despite the circumstances militating against this due to our economic growth."

He referred to Opposition Leader Bernard Grech's criticism of the plan and criticised the PN Leader for his comments about the investment made in people during the pandemic.

"We have a plan in which this country managed to get more than €320 million. They said we didn't consult, but we were consulting until the end of the week, discussing with the social partners. On Friday we held a meeting with a number of social partners where we saw that the vision of the private sector and that of government are on the same binary."

"In the post Covid strategy, there are 114 initiatives divided under 12 thematic sectors." This will be a point of reference even when we come to draft the budget for the coming year, he said.

He spoke of the importance of not leaving the strategy on paper, but of implementing it. "The people trust us as they know that we implement what we plan."


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