Former Prime Minister and MEP Alfred Sant told the European Parliament that the new strategic investment fund for 2015 proposed by the European Commission is too little, and comes too late. Dr. Sant said that he hoped that those like him who believe so will be proved wrong. The Maltese MEP issued an explanation of his vote after he had followed the line of his political group the S&D on the different Motions for a Resolution on the Commission’s work programme for 2015, issued by each of the political groups in the European Parliament. That makes seven of them. The vote took place in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

‘My vote is conditioned by the following reservation’ explained Alfred Sant. The Maltese MEP said that the European Commission work programme 2015 is condensed and to the point. As such, it can only be welcome. The programme also rightly acknowledges the need for urgent action to stimulate new investment.

The question remains whether the proposal to set up a new strategic investment fund can make much difference. The fund is being built out of monies that have already been appropriated. They will be jacked up by private commitments, still to materialize up to a total envelope of 315 billion euros. Dr. Sant said that in reality no fresh money is involved. Yet the need for a substantial injection of investment funds is most urgent.

‘Contrast this with the $ 788 billion fund voted by the Obama administration in the US covering the years 2009 – 2011 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Of this amount, $ 224 billion went as grants to the states.’ maintained Alfred Sant.