Citizenship discussions with European Commission show optimism – PM
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Discussions between the Government and the European Commission on the Programme of Citizenship investments shows optimism on the issue, the Prime Minister, Dr Joseph Muscat said.
The Prime Minister was speaking during a visit to the headquarters of the Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund to thank employees for their work.
Dr Muscat reiterated that the European Commission has no legal basis on which to act. Adding that there is a willingness on both sides to listen to each other, however he could not predict the outcome.
The PM went on to say that he would prefer to see the European Commission act as it did in the case of Austria, in that it would not interfere.
“Ten months ago there were risks of losing 200 million in European funds through work not being carried out. However, with technical effort and without political effort, all the funds were allocated.”
Dr Muscat detailed the Commitment of European funds which include:
– € 3.5 million for IT Master Scholarships which benefited 430 persons;
– € 15.5 million for the health sector, € 3.6 billion will go to Gozo General Hospital;
– € 3.4 million in equipment for Mater Dei for screening;
– € 8.4 million for construction until for two new wards with 68 beds at Mater Dei ;
– € 3.6 million Safi Aviation Park, and
– € 4.4 million for Life Science Park.
“About eleven million euro was allocated to the ‘Jeremie Programme Fund’ which left a positive impact on the economy,” The PM said. “This will be extended to benefit other enterprises.”
A € 2 million fund for the Employment Aid Programme will help another 300 workers in Gozo, Dr Muscat said.
“From the European Refugee Fund Malta obtained € 3.7 million, which will be used to improve services linked to illegal immigrants in the country.”
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for European Affairs and Conduct of Election Manifesto Louis Grech and the Parliamentary Secretary for the 2017 European Presidency and European Union Funding, Dr. Ian Borg.