Alfred Sant calls for more state aid to soften economic impact of Covid-19

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 March, 2021 at 1:10 pm by Andre Camilleri

Public intervention, at both national and European level, has been crucial in cushioning the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and should clearly continue, ideally focusing on future-oriented investment, Alfred Sant told the European Parliament.

In a statement to the parliament’s plenary session, the Head of Malta’s Labour Delegation stated that when discussing the COVID pandemic, the first thoughts always go to the victims followed by the economic hardship that many are going through.

“At a national level, state aid and the related EU’s temporary framework have been a lifesaver in many sectors and countries”.

During a plenary debate entitled “Tackling the economic impact of the COVID pandemic by focusing on investment and competitiveness” held in the presence of European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni, Alfred Sant pointed out that the European Commission, in its various statements, asserted that it is committed to ensure a coordinated and consistent response.

“Yet, figures published show that the level of state aid between Member States differ immensely. Although state aid rules apply equally to all, the resources available to national governments do not. This discrepancy is leading to an intensification of the already existing socioeconomic cleavage between European regions and Member States” Alfred Sant said. “In all of this, I call on the Commission to take the needed steps to maintain a level playing field between Member States. Most importantly, the Commission needs to assure that money granted in the form of state aid does not end up being used by benefiting companies to take over struggling companies in other Member States”

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