Update 4: EU leaders meeting in Malta call for single European banking supervision system
The challenges facing the European Union were this evening discussed in a 10-minute meeting between Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and French President Francois Hollande.
Addressing the press just after the meeting, Dr Gonzi and Mr Hollande said they spoke about the importance that that decisions taken within the EU were implemented. They spoke about the importance of stabilisation and growth within the union and pointed out that the difficulty to get back on track would remain as long as there was a debate on whether Spain required a bailout or not.
They also discussed upcoming meetings at the EU, including on the EU budget and the progress being made during the 5 + 5 summit with Dr Gonzi expressing satisfaction at what has been achieved so far.
Discussions, he said, also had to foster relations between the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean.
Mr Hollande spoke about the importance of security in the Mediterranean and said that the threats faced by one country, affected all countries in the Mediterranean.
The two leaders also discussed discussed bilateral relations.
EU LEADERS DISCUSS CRISIS
After the meeting between Dr Gonzi and Mr Hollande, another meeting was held between Dr Gonzi, Mr Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey, the Prime Minister of Portugal Pedro Passos Coelho and EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
The leaders called for the next meeting of the region's leaders in October to make progress toward setting up a single banking regulator by the end of the year so that it can be running in 2013.
They agreed that the next European Council must pave the way towards the establishment of a single European banking supervision system, to be decided before the end of the year and operational by January.
GONZI MEETS MONTI
Dr Gonzi then had a meeting with Mr Monti with whom he discussed topics of mutual interest including the interconnector project between Malta and Italy.
They also spoke on the operational agreement between the Italian Coastguard Italian and the Armed Forces of Malta signed in July which, Mr Monti said, helped in the better coordination of S&R efforts in the Mediterranean.
"Saving life is a moral obligation," Mr Monti said.
Dr Gonzi later also had a bilateral meeting with Mr Rajoy Brey.
MUSCAT MEETS MONTI, HOLLANDE
Labour leader Joseph Muscat this evening had a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, at the Xagħra Lodge in Rabat.
Dr Muscat and Mr Monti discussed the European financial crisis, the energy policy and the interconnector between Malta and Italy, as well as bilateral relations.
With Mr Hollande, Dr Muscat discussed Mediterranean issues and the European crisis.
Dr Muscat was accompanied by the PL’s foreign affairs spokesman George Vella,MEP Louis Grech and PL international secretary Alex Sceberras Trigona.
Spanish, Italians and Greeks in Malta later protested in front of the law courts against the austerity measures in their country.
The protest coincided with the leaders' official dinner at the Palace. Dinner is being followed with a concert by Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja.
President George Abela's address may be read in the pdf link below.