Euro­pean de­ci­sions may not be in Malta’s in­ter­ests - Al­fred Sant

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

De­ci­sions taken by the Euro­pean Union in the next two and a half years may not be in Malta’s in­ter­ests. Malta will be af­fected di­rectly if the EU be­comes a mil­i­tary union due to the is­land’s ge­o­graph­i­cal po­si­tion on the bor­ders of the EU.

Malta’s Con­sti­tu­tion pro­hibits Malta to join mil­i­tary al­liances but ir­re­spec­tive of this we must un­der­stand whether it is in our in­ter­ests that the EU be­comes a mil­i­tary union.

Fur­ther­more, fac­ing eco­nomic stag­na­tion in Europe, the Luxleaks and Panama Pa­pers, Euro­pean politi­cians now want to leg­is­late on fi­nan­cial ser­vices’ sec­tors which can also af­fect ad­versely Malta’s fi­nan­cial ser­vices’ sec­tors which amounts to 25% of our econ­omy.

“De­ci­sions taken at EU level, even if they seem re­motely far away, will leave their mark on us and our fam­i­lies. We must fol­low what is hap­pen­ing in Europe and con­tin­u­ously ask how th­ese de­vel­op­ments will af­fect us,” for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Al­fred Sant told a meet­ing at the Qawra Palace Ho­tel, when speak­ing on Malta’s fu­ture in the EU.

“We must un­der­stand what is in our in­ter­ests to take the nec­es­sary choices. The econ­omy in Europe is re­cov­er­ing, but there still per­sists un­cer­tainty that things can go to worse. Euro­pean de­ci­sion mak­ers are not sure they have found the right solutions to the chal­lenges fac­ing Europe. Stag­na­tion still per­sists in busi­ness and in­vest­ment cir­cles. The el­derly are un­cer­tain about their pen­sions, youths and work­ers face bleak prospects in the world of work. Where will this stag­na­tion lead to? Dis­con­tent is spread­ing across Europe and those who have noth­ing to lose are dis­tanc­ing them­selves from the tra­di­tional po­lit­i­cal par­ties and iden­ti­fy­ing them­selves with far right par­ties. Europe is fall­ing be­hind eco­nom­i­cally and so­cially and is not meet­ing cit­i­zens’ ex­pec­ta­tions,” re­marked the Mal­tese MEP.

Dr Sant said Malta will pre­side over the EU Pres­i­dency at a del­i­cate time when Europe is fac­ing po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, so­cial and diplo­matic chal­lenges. Con­trary to the rest of Europe, dur­ing the past three years Malta has cre­ated new jobs and new busi­nesses as a re­sult of the right de­ci­sions taken by the Mal­tese gov­ern­ment.

Dr Sant re­ferred to the var­i­ous crises hit­ting Europe dur­ing the last two and a half years in­clud­ing the sanc­tions against Rus­sia which af­fected en­ergy projects be­tween Rus­sia and Europe; the neg­a­tive ef­fects of im­mi­gra­tion in Ger­many and else­where; Eastern coun­tries’ ob­jec­tions to re­ceiv­ing im­mi­grants when coun­tries like Italy and Malta had shoul­dered by them­selves the in­flux of im­mi­grants from North Africa; the lack of faith be­tween the EU and Tur­key which, if ac­cepted as an EU mem­ber state, will be­come the largest mem­ber in the Union; ter­ror­ism which reached France and Bel­gium; the ef­fects of BREXIT on the 27 other mem­ber states who are de­fend­ing their in­ter­ests in the ne­go­ti­a­tions to be held be­tween the UK and the EU.

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