European Affairs Minister Louis Grech and Finance Minister Edward Scicluna today met the European Commission vice-president Olli Rehn, who is responsible for economy and finance, to discuss Malta’s financial situation.

The government said this evening the meeting was held in view of the deficit the new government inherited, and which had reached 3.3 per cent by the end of last year.

The government said it felt an urgent need to explain the country’s economic and financial situation to the Commission, even following the publication of the Spring Economic Forecast today. The Maltese delegation explained the government’s strategy to address the fiscal deficit and generate economic growth.

The Maltese delegation also remarked on the positive elements in the report which showed that, following the election, employment in Malta remained stable and consumer confidence grew. More employment growth was forecast and inflation was going down.

An agreement was reached for technical exchanges between the two sides to continue.

The meeting was also attended by Malta’s permanent representative in Brussels Marlene Bonnici and the permanent secretaries in the European affairs and finance ministries Paul Zahra and Alfred Camilleri, respectively.

Mr Grech also had meetings with Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, with whom he discussed competition issues, including state aid, and with the Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier, which whom he discussed different sectors linked to the European Market.

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