PN’s Mario de Marco said that this is a time of difficult decisions

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Solidarity for the EU means helping the peoples of the EU through funds and structures at this time of international crisis. PN Spokesman Mario de Marco said that at this time one cannot speak of economic growth but of survival. Addressing a press conference, de Marco added that the EU was not successful because it was egotistic but because it based itself o solidarity. He said that the EPP members Metsola and Casa were working hard in the European Parliament so that the EU budget will re-direct funds to help people. Quoting Jean Monet, de Marco recalled that “The EU will be forged in times of crisis”. referring to the reports that the pilots of Air Malta had been let go, de Marco said that dialogue must be retained open and EU funds need to be used to help the national carrier.

We aim that all can keep their jobs – Metsola

The head of Malta’s EPP delegation, Roberta Metsola said that what started as a medical crisis has now been transformed into an economic one. She said that as MEPs they are working hard to ensure that the aspect of the need for European funds particularly for a small, exposed economy as is that of Malta. She added that they were underscoring the aspect that some sectors such as retail and tourism were particularly hurt in this crisis. The setting up of ‘green lanes’ for vital supplies have helped a lot in keeping such supplies coming in through a constant stream. She said that they are working hard for the EU to relax its tight state-aid controls. “Our aim is for everyone to keep their jobs. We cannot be afraid to spend so that the economic wheel keeps turning” said Metsola.

Metsola concluded by appealing to all to keep their social distancing so that what is sown in these difficult times is reaped in the future.

More funds in the pipeline – Casa

MEP David Casa said that the tools of the EU funds are there to be used in the best way possible. He said that measures for funding will help employers safeguard jobs through teleworking and other ways. He said that measures in the pipeline are being discussed for speedy access to funds, particularly through the SURE mechanism.

Casa said that the Maltese MEPs are working to make sure that the funds are not only speedily available but are accessible to the local communities. “The message is one and simple: follow the health authorities’ guidelines,” said Casa. He underscored the need for a good work-life balance and the best use of technology to help in this direction.

Casa also sent his best wishes to the Air Malta staff and pilots who have lost their jobs and expressed tho hope that once the economy starts to recuperate, they would be re-instated.

This is war – Kristy Debono

PN Spokesperson Kristy Debono said that the effects of the coronavirus pandemic are nothing short of those wreaked by war. She said that the economic downturn, originally estimated in single figures has now reached actual double-digit decline with unemployment shooting up exponentially in countries like the US. “This is war…and this is being described as a depression,” said Debono. Europe, she said, may liberate itself of the virus before the US and therefore become a leader in economic regeneration. Debono said that each job which is lost is another rung which we will have to climb to get out of the post-COVID recession.