21 February 2007

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Malta Today



Euro application awaits confirmation of inflation stats

Karl Stagno-Navarra

Government is waiting for the release of updated inflation statistics by the NSO in a bid to confirm projections that the cost of living has been brought to below the rigid Maastricht 3% reference value, before formally applying to the European Commission for the adoption of the Euro as of January 1, 2007.
The NSO statistics are expected to be released in the coming days, and government will be heeding EU Commissioner Joachim Almunia’s recommendation presented to Brussels at the end of the month.
A similar formal request is expected to be sent to the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt which is also expecting the updated NSO and Eurostat figures for Malta’s inflation and public debt to proceed with the application.
At a conference organised by the National Euro Committee Changeover (NECC), Parlaimentary Secretary Tonio Fenech explained that the adoption of the Euro as Malta’s national currency would bring about a better commitment towards a sustainable fiscal policy and a stronger economy.
He also said that in the coming weeks government will start a dual-pricing system on all services offered, and hopes to set an example to the private sector to follow suit for the benefit of all consumers. Tonio Fenech said that although it is not necessary for businesses to change their cash registers, government will still be launching a scheme for those who decide to change their systems.


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