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  • EU membership at 10

    EU membership at 10

    Today Malta celebrates its 10th anniversary since it joined the European Union. EU membership has been the most important economic decision taken in recent decades. This historic move offered the opportunity to lock in permanently a...

  • Dealing with the skills mismatch

    Dealing with the skills mismatch

    The race to improve educational standards is ongoing in most EU countries. Ireland is keen to improve its competitiveness by investing in more technology in schools. In the UK there is growing awareness of the need to go back to basics by raising...

  • Interest rates and bank profits

    The Central Bank is one of the most important insitu­tions in the land, and that of governor one of the highest positions. Charged with setting monetary policy, alongside the Ministry of Finance, the bank held strong sway over the banking system.

  • Access to a bank account guaranteed

    Access to a bank account guaranteed

    All EU citizens, irrespective of their place of residence or nationality, are being guaranteed the right to open a basic bank account. The payment accounts package, as recently approved by the European Parliament, also ensures that fees and rules...

  • GRTU in defence of cheaper financing for small businesses

    GRTU in defence of cheaper financing for small businesses

    The GRTU has been arguing for years that the local banks impose exorbitant charges and interest rates. This was confirmed by the governor of the Central Bank himself just two weeks ago, when he emphasised that lending rates in Malta are among the...

  • Power, prestige and status in business life

    Power, prestige and status in business life

    As children we all loved the Hans Christian Andersen tale entitled The Emperor’s New Clothes. This tale tells how the Emperor, tricked by two swindlers, pretended to see what wasn’t there because he was afraid that his prestige would be shuttered...

  • Blowing the whistle on ‘financial fair play’

    Blowing the whistle on ‘financial fair play’

    It is a common practice for football clubs to pay lucrative wages to the best players to secure the higher places in football competitions. Amid trends of heavy spending by a number of a professional football clubs across Europe, the Union of...

  • Economics of unemployment

    Economics of unemployment

    Unemployment figures often make headlines. Indeed this is an economic indicator frequently quoted in the financial and political press. Quite often the same figures are seen as exceptionally positive or particularly negative, depending on the...

  • The dangers of rising populism in European politics

    The dangers of rising populism in European politics

    The coming European Parliament elections are likely to result in a strong performance by populist parties throughout the EU. Populism has been defined as a “political philosophy which focuses on standing up for the rights and positions of the...

  • Reshuffles and the economy

    Reshuffles and the economy

    The restructuring of the team of ministers and parliamentary secretaries was bound to reflect on the managment of the Maltese economy. The whole team relates to it, some members more so than others, some directly and the rest indirectly. The...

  • Compensating victims of anti-competitive conduct

    An EU law which will facilitate the filing of claims for damages by victims of anti-competitive conduct is well on its way to seeing the light of day. With an informal agreement recently reached between Council of Ministers and European Parliament...

  • Raising the standards of ethics and compliance

    Raising the standards of ethics and compliance

    With regulators getting tougher on business wrongdoing and a minority of employees tempted to cross ethical lines to meet targets in difficult economic circumstances, ethics and compliance programmes have become prominent on boardroom agendas. How...

  • A strong euro hurts economies in the EU

    A strong euro hurts economies in the EU

    Forecasting future trends in financial markets is best left to fortune tellers armed with a crystal ball as professional analysts are continuously proved wrong with their economic predictions. Foreign exchange traders, for instance, just a few...

  • Real meaning of Freedom Day

    In a year replete with important anniversaries, the 35th one of Freedom Day came and went on Monday. As usual it was celebrated mostly as a political event. That it was. But more so it was an economic development, commemorating the day when...

  • Protecting locks on consoles

    Manufacturers use technical ‘locks’ in their console hardware and software to stop console owners running unauthorised software. This is mainly achieved through an encrypted key carried by a game disc. The latter will not run on a console unless...

  • (The much loved) key performance indicators

    (The much loved) key performance indicators

    Managers love to quote their company or departmental KPIs. I think they feel in control when reeling out KPI statistics. I know accountants love quoting ROCE, WACC or CCC (return on capital employed, weighted average cost of capital and the cash...

  • Challenging times for the Maltese economy

    Challenging times for the Maltese economy

    It is so easy to oversimplify the prospects of the Maltese economy. Many eco-nomists comment that watching GDP growth and unemployment levels is important, but there is more than these statistics to judging the state of health of an economy...

  • Power station has to move on

    The talking – about the gas-fired power station at Deli-mara and the storage of gas required to feed it – is far from over. It will probably never be over. Those who oppose the siting of the project will continue to do so for years, though now...

  • Equality at the workplace a requisite

    Equality at the workplace a requisite

    Gender discrimination at the place of work is unacceptable, a judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union recently reaffirmed. The automatic exclusion of a female worker from a training course based on the fact that she took compulsory...

  • And yet more jam?

    In February 2012 we wrote an article (‘Jam today, jam tomorrow’) which really explored the potential of equities as income generators. We made the observation that in 2011 the dividend payout by UK listed companies increased by 26 per cent to £68...

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