09 APRIL 2003

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Economy figures in PN’s latest campaign upgrade

The gradient to electoral victory has just been steeped up for the Nationalists as more PR coups by the Malta Labour Party render the PN’s negative campaigning less effective. In martyring Alfred Sant, it seems this could possible serve to alienate possible floating and Labour voters from the pro-EU core.
The news of an additional Lm9 million for the first three years of accession is a sign that the PN’s EU negotiating skills have been avenged. It turns after all that those Lm100 million in accession funds were serendipitously spot-on.
This gives the EU timetable a more precarious deadline. On 16 April 2003, Malta cannot have a no-show in Athens.
The PN have countered Labour’s environmental and social commitments by arguing that million-lira projects and upgrading to EU standards will be costing the taxpayer dearly. EU accession funds bypass the burden being laid upon the taxpayer, and binds politicians and ministers to proactively invest these funds into these projects. Through the supervision of Malta’s Regional Policy Directorate, whose function is to oversee the compiling of project proposals and ensure their feasibility, there is a legal guarantee that this money cannot be squandered.
The PN will be stressing on the EU funds once again this week with news of the Lm9 million bonus, although the waning of the EU buzz has seen the good news not yet being exploited to the possible maximum.
Whilst having had to shoot down the MLP’s ‘bogus pact’ and its tax holidays, the PN have concentrated on the financial state of the country.
The Prime Minister recently said that the past four and a half years had seen the country, its industry and businesses upgrade themselves, showing everyone was ready to grab the new opportunities on offer once Malta joins the EU.
Industry, previously a levy-protected sector, had risen to the challenges of the new world economy, the PM said, with many seeking new openings in the export market.
At this, the PN are hitting out against the MLP for seeking to instil a culture of polarisation on such a non-partisan choice as the EU.
"New Spring" is the PN’s slogan on matters economic, with the PN brandishing its track record figures.
In manufacturing, the PM has been doing the rounds by visiting factories and other manufacturing centres. In human resources, the country has just attracted Microsoft to take up their place in Malta and to herald an international computer college. In agriculture, the sector will be reformed to enable it survive today’s world, with Lm77 million allotted to the sector until 2013.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, 2 Cali House, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 02, Malta
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