Current Affairs
EC announces reforms for Euro Zone, Minister Scicluna says it is too ambitious

The European Commission has announced its plans to reform the Euro Zone within the next 18 months, by creating among other things, a European Monetary Fund and a European Minister for Economy and Finance.

Minister Edward Scicluna says it is still too early

In his first reactions to the announcement, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said that the Maltese government feels it is still too early for this ambitious plan to be discussed and to be put into effect.

The Vice-President of the European Commission for the Euro, Valois Dombrovskis, said that “the Commission is taking another step in the ongoing process of building a more stable and prosperous Economic and Monetary Union.”

EC presents plan for better integration between the 19 countries

The European Commission has presented a plan for better integration between the 19 countries which make up the Euro zone. Minister Scicluna believes it is too ambitious because not enough progress has been made on matters such as the Banking Union and the curbing of the deficit in public finances by some of the countries which use the Euro.

Minister Scicluna said that “this does not mean that we are against the package or against parts of the package and we are ready to discuss. However, for the Commission to come up with the idea of a Minister of Finance, seems to be rather bombastic.”

The main proposal is that by 2019, the European Parliament and the Governments in the European Council will agree to establish a European Monetary Fund which would be linked to the legal framework of the European mechanism of stability which was set up during a time of financial crisis to help countries which could not borrow from international markets.

“If this fund is set up, it will be a good idea” – Edward Scicluna

Professor Scicluna said that if this fund is created using the framework of the International Monetary Fund, it would be a good idea.

“On that issue, I think it will be possible for us to discuss, but we are very far from talking about the taxes which will be imposed on EU countries” said Prof. Scicluna.

He added that before there is a stable Government in Germany and before the EU sees how to fill the hole in its budget after Brexit, he does not think there is serious place for discussion about these reforms.

More discussion expected about this plan

PM Joseph Muscat and the other European leaders are expected to discuss the plan proposed by the Commission for the first time at the summit in Brussels next week.