19 JUNE 2002
The Federation of Industry has taken exception to the enlargement report published by the Union of Industrial and Employers Confederations of Europe (UNICE), to which it is affiliated, and reiterated its support to governments determination to negotiate the best conditions of entry for Malta.
The FOI yesterday reacted to a statement made by the EU Negotiating Team co-ordinator Richard Cachia Caruana. Mr Cachia Caruana was reported by the media as being surprised at comments made by UNICE that suggest that applicant countries like Malta should just say yes to everything that is left.
In a statement issued yesterday the FOI explained that despite being a member of UNICE the FOI still urged the government to persist in its demands for a good package that allows further development of the countrys economy and of industry in particular.
"Whilst business in member countries is defending its interests, the Malta
Federation of Industry is here to defend the interest of industry in this country," the FOI statement stressed.
The FOI clarified that the UNICE Enlargement Report on Candidate Countries included a section about Malta, which was drafted by Irish intermediaries who came over to Malta and met with a number of persons from Government, the Opposition, Industry and other stakeholders.
The FOI explained that it was an independent report that was meant to find out and comment about the ability of Malta to implement the body of EU laws by the time it expects to join the EU.
Whilst encouraging the Member countries to enlarge the EU community of nations, the UNICE report has sent a clear message that everyone should play by the accepted rules.
It was this conclusion that prompted the FOI to express its continued support to the Maltese government to negotiate the best possible package for Malta in the remaining chapters.