“Dialogue remains key but action is urgent” – Chamber of Commerce

a man wears a mask outside St Julians coronavirus
Miguela Xuereb

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Malta Chamber of Commerce has said that action was urgent. The chamber called for active dialogue in order to reach an agreement on workable solutions for businesses and their employees in the current uncertain circumstances characterised by the novel coronavirus pandemic and the related economic repercussions.

In a statement on Saturday, the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry said that together with other employer organisations the chamber participated in a meeting with Prime Minister Robert Abela. This was done in a bid to keep an open conversation about the assistance required by businesses at this very challenging time.

A total of 73 cases have tested positive for coronavirus by Saturday afternoon. Two individuals have recovered while an individual was transferred to the Intensive Therapy Unit after his condition was no longer stable. In a bid to contain the virus, various measures were announced including the closing down of schools and other educational institutions, places were the public gathers including bars and restaurants among other measures. The coronavirus pandemic has sparked an economic crisis in various countries, as states attempt to stabilize their economies.

President David Xuereb stated that an open channel of dialogue was the way forward.

“As a Chamber, and together with our fellow social partners, we shall continue to explain the hardships that are currently being experienced by our businesses as well as their employees, and push for adequate support that will not only assist them to weather the storm, but more importantly ensure they are in a fighting shape to grow once the worse is over,” Xuereb said.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Robert Abela announced a mini-budget. The measures announced have been widely criticised by the various stakeholders and deemed not sufficient to ensure safeguarding jobs. Various social partners have warned that employees stand to lose if the government fails to take the necessary actions in such a delicate time.

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