INTERVENT TAL-MINISTRU SCICLUNA WAQT LAQGĦA VIRTWALI TAL-ECOFIN

Reference Number: PR201094, Press Release Issue Date: Jun 11, 2020
 
​Il-Ministru għall-Finanzi u s-Servizzi Finanzjarji Edward Scicluna, flimkien mal-Ministri tal-Finanzi tal-Unjoni Ewropea, ipparteċipa f’vidjokonferenza tal-ECOFIN li saret fid-9 ta’ Ġunju 2020.
 
Fl-intervent tiegħu dwar il-Pjan ta’ Rkupru tal-Unjoni Ewropea, il-Ministru għall-Finanzi u s-Servizzi Finanzjarji Edward Scicluna qal, “Nixtiequ nirringrazzjaw lill-Presidenza Kroata għall-mod eċċellenti kif mexxiet il-presidenza f’mument daqstant diffiċli. Aħna diġà lqajna l-idea tal-Pakkett ta’ Rkupru bħala strument meħtieġ sabiex jerġa’ jqajjem l-ekonomija tal-Istati Membri tal-Unjoni Ewropea u jassisti lil dawk l-Istati Membri li l-aktar li ntlaqtu minn din il-pandemija. Issa li għandna d-dettalji tal-proposti, nistgħu nagħtu l-ewwel reazzjonijiet tagħna.
 
Fejn jidħol il-kriterju ta’ kif jiġu allokati l-fondi, aħna qed nipproponu li dawn il-fondi għandhom jiġu allokati fuq kriterji li jirriflettu l-impatt ekonomiku li ħalliet il-COVID-19 milli fuq kriterji li jirriflettu s-sitwazzjoni ekonomika taż-żmien ta’ qabel il-pandemija, sitwazzjoni li ġustament xi Stati Membri ddeskrivew dan l-approċċ bħala pass lura. Barra minn hekk, wieħed m’għandux jiddependi fuq ir-rati tal-qgħad bħala l-uniku indikatur. Indikatur bħal dan m’huwiex sofistikat biżżejjed biex jirrifletti is-sitwazzjoni ekonomika ta’ dawk il-pajjiżi fejn għandhom setturi ekonomiċi li salvaw l-effett tal-pandemija filwaqt li kellhom settur ekonomiku importanti li ġie milqut b’mod devastanti – kif inhu l-każ tat-turiżmu. Aħna qed nistennew lill-Kummissjoni biex toħroġ b’indikaturi aktar addattati. 
 
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Fi spirtu ta’ solidarjetà l-grants mogħtija f’ammonti raġonevoli huma aċċettabbli għalina iżda l-pakkett ippreżentat juri li ċerti pajjiżi ser jiġu allokati ammont qawwi ta’ grants milli self u dan ser iwassal biex numru ta’ Stati Membri, inkluż Malta, minn benefiċjarji netti ser jispiċċaw kontributuri netti. Dan iwassal għal effetti aktar negattivi fuq dawn l-Istati Membri li tkun diffiċli biex tiġġustifika deċiżjoni bħal din. 
 
Fejn jidħol il-finanzjament tal-baġit Ewropew, dak magħruf bħala “Own Rescources”, il-proposta tagħna hija li mmorru għal taxxi, bħal taxxi fuq plastik mhux riċiklabbli u prodotti simili, u mhux li nintroduċu taxxi kontroversjali li jistgħu jtellfu milli jsir qbil fuq dan il-ftehim, u dan fiż-żmien meta aħna rridu li d-deċiżjonijiet jittieħdu malajr. B’mod partikolari, aħna nemmnu li l-proposta li nestendu l-Emission Trading System f’taxxi fuq vjaġġar bl-ajru u bil-baħar, se jaffettwaw negattivament dawk l-Istati Membri li jiddependu fuq it-turiżmu, u għalhekk taxxi bħal dawn, speċjalment fis-sitwazzjoni li ninsabu fiha, m’għandhomx jiġu kkunsidrati.”
 
Ritratti: MFIN
 
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Intervention of Minister Scicluna during ECOFIN video conference meeting
 
Minister for Finance and Financial Services Edward Scicluna, together with the Finance Ministers of the European Union, participated in an ECOFIN video conference, on 9th June 2020.
 
During his intervention on the EU Recovery Plan, the Minister for Finance and Financial Services Edward Scicluna said, “We would like to thank the Croatia Presidency for the excellent way it has managed the presidency in such a difficult time. We have already welcomed the idea of a Recovery Package as a needed instrument to kick start the economy of the EU Member States and assist those Member States who have been hit hard by the pandemic. Now that we have the proposed details, we can give our initial reaction to them.
 
Starting with the main allocation criteria, we propose that such an important criteria should focus on an element which better capture the COVID-19 economic shock rather than consider the pre-COVID economic situation, which rightly so, some Member States rightly described this approach as backwards-looking. Furthermore, one should not rely on unemployment rates as the only indicator. Such an indicator is not sophisticated enough to catch the peculiarities of countries where there are some sectors which survive the ravishes of the pandemic while having one important economic sector, devastated – as is the case with tourism. We expect the Commission to come up with better indicators.
 
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In a spirit of solidarity, grants given in modest volumes, are acceptable to us. We cannot say the same for the ratio of grants to loans as allocated to some countries. The way the present grants to loans ratio is structured, it will turn a number of Member States, including Malta, from net beneficiaries to net contributors and having a multiplier effect which is difficult to understand let alone explain to others.
 
On own resources, our suggestion is to go for taxes, such as on non-recyclable plastics and similar products, and not introduce controversial taxes which may stall our progress to an agreement, and this at a time when we want to obtain quick solutions. In particular, we believe the proposal to extend the Emission Trading System into taxation of air and sea travel, not only impinges on the welfare of the Member States which rely heavily on tourism, but also believe that these taxes are the last to consider, in this unique situation and has been dealt a significant blow.”
 
Photos: MFIN