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Chamber advises caution on pledges

Lawrence Gonzi with Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise, Stefano Mallia, at a meeting last night. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Lawrence Gonzi with Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise, Stefano Mallia, at a meeting last night. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

The vice president of the Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise, Stefano Mallia, has warned the political parties against making unsustainable promises in their electoral programmes.

I want to put your minds at rest that we are only proposing realistic measures

In a dialogue meeting with the Prime Minister in Valletta yesterday evening, to which the press was only invited for the introductory remarks, Mr Mallia said the chamber did not wish to take a position on the proposals being made in the campaign.

However, it wanted to “express its concerns over the sustainability of certain proposals being made by both political parties”.

He did not give specific examples of the proposed measures he was referring to.

The Prime Minister was received at the chamber’s premises by Mr Mallia in the absence of chamber president Tancred Tabone, who could not attend the meeting as he was indisposed.

In his introductory remarks to the chamber’s members, the Prime Minister said the Nationalist Party in government would once again be committed to strengthening the country’s finances, as it had already done over the course of the cur-rent legislature.

“I want to put your minds at rest that we are only proposing realistic measures. We are not going to put the country’s finances in jeopardy in any way and that is why we have priced each and every measure in our electoral programme,” he said.

Making it clear that not all of the PN’s measures might sound good for employers, Dr Gonzi said they were all aimed at achieving economic growth and job creation.

He said that apart from more investment being made in crucial economic and social areas, such as education and health, the PN was committed to a government spending haircut of two per cent, following a similar exercise two years ago that had cut costs by about €40 million.

The Government was also predicting that the European economy would improve over the next five years and was optimistic that the local economy would grow at a higher rate.

The meeting continued behind closed doors where members discussed their problems and proposals with the Prime Minister.

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