The Malta Chamber held a dinner in honour of the Prime Minister yesterday at the Agostino Portelli Hall in the Exchange Buildings. The dinner which is attended by members of the council of the Malta Chamber is held annually at Christmas time.
Welcoming the Prime Minister and Mrs Muscat to the Chamber, the President Mr Frank V. Farrugia said that the country had experienced a general election this year – a process which did not create any disturbances on business as neither did the Budget Speech for 2018.
“Indeed, despite the election, our approach towards constructive dialogue and our healthy working relationship continued seamlessly throughout the year which shall soon pass us by” he said.
Mr Farrugia said that throughout 2017, the Chamber showed that its over-arching interest was the common good and prosperity of the Maltese people, which, after all, was also the principal objective of the country’s political leaders.
Speaking about the excellent relationship the Chamber enjoys with the Prime Minister, Mr Farrugia said that the Chamber appreciated Dr Muscat’s promptness in replying to communications and requests. The Chamber, the President quipped, now expected all Government’s ministers and the entire public service to climb on board Dr Muscat’s speed-machine.
The country still had a number of issues that required tackling, Mr Farrugia said, and on behalf of the Chamber he promised the Prime Minister that he would be ‘Frank’ about each.
In a lighthearted tone, the President however suggested, to leave the discussion about these issues to more serious occasions.
“Tonight, I will therefore spare you further mention of rule of law, public holidays, traffic congestion, electricity rates, DRS-recycling of beverage containers, visas for third country nationals, public-private partnerships, alternative energy targets and other pressing matters – all of which we shall be taking up with you next year.”
“But for tonight, we shall allow you and Mrs Muscat to enjoy the meal and our company because I am confident that through open and constructive dialogue we will find solutions to all these issues” Mr Farrugia concluded.
In his reply the Prime Minister expressed his appreciation for the Malta Chamber’s work in the fields of business and the economy, and augured more collaboration between the organisation and his Government in the new year.