Min­is­ter Sci­cluna ad­dresses the In­sti­tute of Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices dur­ing its an­nual din­ner

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

When ad­dress­ing the In­sti­tute of Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices’ an­nual din­ner, Min­is­ter for Fi­nance Ed­ward Sci­cluna re­counted how the fi­nan­cial cri­sis of 2008 and the slow eco­nomic growth re­sulted in the coun­try’s deficit run­ning at 3.5% and the na­tional debt hov­er­ing close to 70% by 2012.

“The turn­around we have achieved since then has a lot to do with us chang­ing tack in our fis­cal man­age­ment. We could not just de­pend on our bankers to be pru­dent in their man­age­ment of their clients’ money but we had to be­come equally pru­dent in the man­age­ment of tax­pay­ers’ money. The changes we ef­fected were key to the turn­around in fis­cal man­age­ment, which meant that from a coun­try with an ex­ces­sive deficit pro­ce­dure we are now the coun­try with the sec­ond high­est sur­plus. In turn, the elim­i­na­tion of our fis­cal deficit was cru­cial for the turn­around in our bal­ance of pay­ments, which to­day fea­ture one of the high­est sur­pluses in the EU, as against the large deficits that char­ac­terised most of our eco­nomic his­tory,” Min­is­ter Sci­cluna stated.

Min­is­ter Sci­cluna noted how the rat­ing agen­cies, the Com­mis­sion and the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund, have re­peat­edly em­pha­sised the change in fis­cal gov­er­nance en­acted by this ad­min­is­tra­tion. He high­lighted the fact that while recog­nis­ing Malta’s sev­eral key strengths, these ex­perts have helped us by high­light­ing ar­eas where they be­lieve Malta’s fis­cal trans­parency prac­tices could be fur­ther im­proved.

“I am con­vinced that, like other as­sess­ments, the IMF’s Fi­nan­cial Sta­bil­ity Assess­ment Pro­gramme and MoneyVal’s eval­u­a­tion will demon­strate the in­tegrity of our in­sti­tu­tions and the se­ri­ous­ness with which they ful­fil their oner­ous du­ties,” added Min­is­ter Sci­cluna.

Min­is­ter Sci­cluna con­cluded his speech by stat­ing that “2018 has been an­other year of as­tound­ing suc­cess for our Mal­tese econ­omy, with a growth rate about three times that in the EU, with our coun­try yet again gen­er­at­ing the largest growth in jobs and with fur­ther drops in the pro­por­tion of those at risk-of-poverty or so­cial ex­clu­sion. A lot of this suc­cess is due to the dili­gence of our fi­nan­cial ser­vices providers and the pru­dent way they man­age to al­lo­cate sav­ings to ac­tiv­i­ties that gen­er­ate a prof­itable re­turn. The three an­niver­saries we have cel­e­brated this year – the es­tab­lish­ment of the Cen­tral Bank, the first decade us­ing the euro and 10 years since the fi­nan­cial cri­sis – all bear tes­ta­ment to the re­source­ful­ness of Malta’s bank­ing com­mu­nity”.

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