Alfred Sant said it is in Malta’s interest that the EU wins the challenge it faces of creating new jobs and investment. Malta’s economic growth depends a lot on how European economies perform, despite that Malta’s economic growth has been greater than elsewhere in Europe. During 2015, the biggest challenge that Europe will be facing is that of creating jobs and investment. ‘Can this be made to happen? And if yes, how and when?’ asked the Head of the Maltese Delegation at the S&D group in the European Parliament. Dr. Sant was addressing a well attended S&D Conference with the theme ‘Malta in Europe – Where do we stand – where are we heading?’ held by the office of the Head of the Maltese Delegation in Valletta.
Sant said that the EU has experienced stagnation even since before the global recession of 2008, despite being once considered an engine of economic growth. In the euro zone especially, governments have been applying the cure of cutting on their budget deficits. But this policy of austerity has served to further depress growth prospects. Investment has not taken off, to the contrary.
‘Those who, like German Chancellor Merkel, believe that keeping deficits under control is the key to future prosperity, still insist that fiscal consolidation cannot be swept aside. Those who believe that governments must push on their own for growth, not wait till the private sector starts to invest more, argue that the priority now must be for governments to spend on investments. Whoever wins the argument needs to be right. Otherwise, Europe will be negatively affected for many more years to come.’ Said Alfred Sant.
Other speakers in the Conference included Aleks Farrugia who spoke on ‘The challenges facing the EU’ and Robert Micallef who dealt on ‘The contribution of Malta in the EU and vice-versa’.