The Nationalist Party said that Maltese businesses are not making the best use of funds directly available by the European Commission.
Nationalist Party spokespersons announced a series of proposals on how these direct funds may be better used, including on organizing educational campaigns and how businesses may be provided with tools to apply for these funds.
European Parliament elections candidate, Peter Agius, said that Malta needs to increase the success rate in this sector, which currently is the worst among the EU. He added that these funds form a quarter of the European budget, which may be directly acquired from the European Commission in a competitive process. He stated that MEPs should exert pressure in EU committees for a change in the financing legislation, according to the needs of Maltese businesses. He added that while countries and regions with Malta’s size won between 10 to 15 projects in the past year, Malta only achieved five.
Nationalist deputy Edwin Vassallo stated that while for some this is the best time, it is not the same for small and medium-sized businesses who are hardly coping. He referred to the Central Bank report which indicated that the manufacturing sector and industry registered a reduction. He added that while the number of tourists increased, their average expenditure decreased.
Deputy Robert Cutajar appealed to the Government to use all the disposable European funds, adding that while the Government lost hope of achieving the same funds acquired in the last term, it should strengthen the opportunities for different niches.