Writing in today’s edition of the Times of Malta, Chamber President Frank V. Farrugia said that Malta is currently under a bright international spotlight and all parties must make an effort refrain from seeking to gain sectorial or political mileage to the detriment of the country’s reputation as a worthy business destination. “Anything short of this will, in turn, come at a cost to the wellbeing of us all – employers, workers, professionals, pensioners and students.”
Penning today’s Talking Point, Mr Farrugia expressed his views on the current situation in Malta in the wake of unjust allegations on the country’s taxation system and last month’s tragic event.
He said that everyone must be responsible for their statements and actions which have a serious influence on the country’s economic progress. “No innocent party and no member of the upstanding business community must be caught in friendly fire or feel unjustly treated. Moreover, individuals who made justifiable use of our transparent, EU-certified structures and invested legitimate funds in or from Malta, do not deserve unfair or ill-judged treatment from local sources. Ultimately, their actions also contributed to the generation of jobs and the common good in our country” he said.
“Our Chamber also expressed itself on matters concerning the rule of law ahead of the last General Election in a position paper presented to the main political parties and the media. The first of twelve chapters contained in our document was, in fact, entitled ‘Reputation and Good Governance’” he said.
“Matters have since escalated and the country cannot afford to freeze in the proverbial headlights” the President warns.
“Our nation must look ahead. The recent horrendous event has shocked us all, but must now serve to trigger the necessary changes which may come about through Constitutional Reforms that enjoys broad national consensus.”
He called on political leaders to lead by example and act in unison, agree on lasting solutions and, commit their support towards sustainable objectives whereby national authorities are allowed to operate independently.
He also remarked that businesses want to operate in an environment where checks and balances function properly, where the rule of law reigns supreme and everyone operates on a level playing field.
“Addressing these matters, though hard and possibly politically challenging, is certainly within our country’s own competences. The well-being of our nation ought to serve as enough motivation for our leaders to step up to this courageous challenge. No further external forces should be necessary” he said.
Mr Farrugia also said that Malta must distinguish between the accusations in relation to freedom of speech and those that concern its open and transparent fiscal regulatory framework which is, after all, most certainly EU-compliant.
“In the prevailing circumstances, our economic climate is desperately calling for less uncertainty. Any insecurity will, no doubt, impact negatively on business confidence and on the country’s reputation in its various industry sectors” he said.
“The country must preserve its international reputation as much as it must safeguard good governance and stability. It is up to the courage and goodwill of our leaders to agree and see through the changes our country requires to ensure the economic and social wellbeing of our people” the Malta Chamber President concluded.