Finance Minister Clyde Caruana has moved to reassure those working in industries likely to be impacted by Malta’s greylisting, that the government would be stepping in to help soften the blow.
Yesterday, the Financial Action Task Force voted to add Malta to its grey list of jurisdictions requiring increased monitoring.
The development has sent shockwaves through the country, with many sectors bracing themselves for significant repercussions.
But while practically all stakeholders have expressed their shock at the news, the government has sought to downplay what it has described as an unjust and politically motivated decision.
Speaking on ONE’s Pjazza, Caruana said he acknowledged that Malta needed to work hard in order to be removed from the list as quickly as possible.
“This country needed changes. The country needs someone to truly look out for people’s livelihoods,” Caruana said.
He insisted that only the Maltese could bring about the required changes, adding that the country waiting for others to do its job for it wasn’t an option.
Caruana said there were many people who might have woken up worried and concerned this morning. “It’s understandable, they’re genuine concerns.”
He said that Malta had now spent months working to avoid greylisting. “The government was there all throughout and it will continue to be there.”
“I think the take home message from all this is that we must roll up our sleeves and get to work. I will be ensuring that help is given to those areas that will be impacted – and it must be said, most of the economy won’t be impacted, it won’t even notice – but those in financial services, gaming or certain manufacturing sectors will have certain concerns that will need to be addressed,” Caruana said.
The government, he said, was ready to step in and to give the necessary assurances to foreign partners suspicious of Malta.
“When the official results are issued, we’ll be able to better explain how we’ve made great advances in certain areas and how the areas we haven’t made enough progress in aren’t of great concern for investors,” he said.
What do you make of the minister’s remarks?