Gonzi visits €2 million investment in Gozo

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi visited a €2 million hotel investment in Gozo today before meeting the Gozo Business Chamber to discuss some of the Nationalist Party's electoral pledges.

Dr Gonzi toured the Kempinski Hotel in San Lawrenz which has undergone a number of embellishment projects since 2008, including a specialised Oriental spa aimed at attracting tourists in the quiet shoulder months. The investment was partly financed by the EU.

The Prime Minister said 500 jobs had been created in Gozo over the past five years thanks to a €10 million fund dedicated to Malta's sister island. This was accompanied by more than €20 million invested by the private sector.

He said the Government must continue to invest in Gozo's tourism sector by incentivising investments in five-star hotels and farmhouses while boosting accessibility through an underground tunnel.

At the hotel, Dr Gonzi held a meeting with the Gozo Business Chamber to discuss the PN's electoral proposals for Gozo.

He stressed the importance of cheaper night tariffs which would reduce the burden on businesses across the board, especially those in the tourism sector.

The PN pledged to create 25,000 jobs over the next five years and would work towards creating jobs for Gozitans in Gozo. But this depended on having sound finances, he said while committing himself to try and achieve a surplus by 2016 after attaining a balanced budget by 2015.

He said it was important to speed up planning processes while ensuring that Gozo does not turn into a concrete jungle but retains its distinct character.

Dr Gonzi spoke about a number of initiatives which would boost job creation such as tax credits for new businesses and family-friendly measures to encourage more women to join the workforce, including by extending sick leave to parents whose children fell sick.

Chamber spokesman Michael Grech underlined the problem of bureaucracy which could stifle job creation and encourage corruption. He also warned of the brain drain Gozo was experiencing in part due to the success in the education sector. He called for Gozo's particular problems to be addressed with specific solutions, rather than a one size fits all approach.



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