2 - 8 May, 2001

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EU structural funds: ‘More pie in the sky’

The probability of EU structural funds is very much a pie in the sky scenario as was the case with the infamous Lm100 million electoral promise by former Foreign minister now President, Guido De Marco.

This transpires after the publicity being awarded to the fact that Objective One countries are eligible to EU financial support from the EU’s Structural and Cohesion fund.

Until now, Malta is an objective one country.

Objective one countries are those in Europe which have a Gross Domestic Product level of less than 75% (Lm6,500) of the EU GDP per capita average..

Malta is said to have a figure of GDP per capita that reads as 52% of the EU average which works out at Lm4,600.

But this is expected to change dramatically when solid facts materialise and this figure is considered to be grossly incorrect and depressed – Maltese income is highly deflated as a result of widespread tax evasion.

But the figure is also different because of recent salary changes in the public sector.

The threshold for structural fund is a GDP of Lm6,536 but with the real income coming to light after work to be carried out by various tax regimes, it is highly likely that Malta’s GDP may in fact tally this figure.

If this is the case, then it is very likely that Malta’s bid for structural funds will be hard hit once again.

But the news should not impede the government from seeking alternative funds from EU sources to support it in its accession linked reforms.

 



The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt