Sunday, 6 May 2012

Credit to whom it is properly due

The Prime Minister yesterday said:
"it is acknowledged and documented that Malta negotiated the best EU accession package out of the 10 member states who joined in 2004.   And Richard Cachia Caruana was the head of our accession negotiating team"
I beg to differ from the notion that credit for the negotiation EU accession package should go to the negotiating team in general and RCC as its leader in particular.

The main credit should go to Alfred Sant.  As leader of the opposition at the time, his strong campaign against EU membership was a formidable tool in the hands of the negotiating team to secure the best possible package.  The fear that because of Alfred Sant's objection the accession referendum could fail, was the best lever to secure better terms than those secured by countries where the outcome of the referendum was not in doubt.

Credit should go to whom it is properly due, even if it was basically unintended consequences.

Another heresy was repeated yesterday.  The PM is reported to have said:

"Being in the eurozone allowed us to withstand the economic tsunami that engulfed the globe"
We were not engulfed not because we were in the Eurzone but because our public and private sector borrowing was mostly sourced locally and we were not dependent on international credit lines that dried up during the crisis.   If Euro membership was the reason for our financial stability why has it not worked for Greece, Portgual, Spain, Ireland and Italy - all Eurozone members?  And by contra why did Poland and Czech Republic out of the Euro remain stable?

I still think that joining the Euro was correct and the right thing to do following EU membership but we must not give the Euro credit which is not due.  That credit belongs to the thrift culture of Maltese society.

1 comment:

  1. Two formidable pieces in a row!! Finally someone setting the record straight.