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 Joanna Drake has been appointed as the first Maltese Director in the European Commission. She has been appointed as Director of its Directorate General for Enterprise, as Director for the Promotion of Competitiveness of SMEs. This is the highest appointment that any Maltese held so far within the European Commission, apart from Dr. Joe Borg's appointment as Commissioner. 126 applicants were considered for the post.

 

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 Interview with Charlotte Zahra of Business Today

Do you agree with the Prime Minister's suggestion of a new social pact or not?

The social pact concept is taken from the experience of countries with traditional tri-partite national bargaining experience. Malta does not have this experience and trade unions and employers have been found wonting when it comes to committing themselves over a span of years on important issues. Another exercise will be as futile as the last one. What MCESD is doing now is following an alternative route which is less cumbersome.

 

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Interview with Raphael Vassallo of Malta Today

How do your react to the fact that the Opposition leader has taken on board a few of your own suggestions: especially the eco-tax revision, and the revision of the 12% withholding tax on property?

Our ideas are the result of extensive consultation since the publication of the Pre-Budget Document. The Eco-Tax reform and the whole package of reforms we recommended in relation to the 12% final withholding tax form part of a strategy that we recommended government to follow. This is a strategy towards the re-direction of the construction industry and private investments towards the building of more affordable housing, ready-for-use office facilities in the localities to provide new work opportunities especially for women in the localities, the building and financing of harbour projects and the spread of tourism to the localities through government and private funding of improvements to create home tourist lodgings and promote urban renewal projects among others.

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 GRTU called on the Ministry for Finance, the Economy and Investment as responsible for trade relations to stand against the Commission proposal for a mandatory ‘made-in' label to be attached to certain imported consumer goods. The Ministry consulted the GRTU on the new Commission proposal and GRTU replied as follows:

The commerce sector strongly rejects the claims that the proposed label is a ‘necessity' and will ‘protect our consumers'. The proposed label is far from helping, such a label would simply create another barrier to trade at a time when Europe needs growth, not protectionism.

 

 

 

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In the light of the current economic crisis which puts a massive strain on companies' finance, the last option for an increasing number of companies is to file for bankruptcy caused by late payments. Especially Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, whose often low liquidity makes them vulnerable to late payments, tend to fall victim to this development. Through this recast, the European Commission seeks to combat this trend by strengthening the existing Directive on late payments (2000/35/EG)

 

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