Malta Premier Muscat Vows to Beat EU’s Budget-Deficit Forecast

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat vowed to reach his government’s 2013 budget-deficit target of 2.7 percent of gross domestic project even as the European Commission sees the shortfall widening to 3.4 percent of GDP.

Muscat said the commission’s forecast, published yesterday, resulted from its experience of dealing with the previous government in Valletta that “didn’t live up to expectations.”

“I believe that discussions with the European Commission will be positive, with Brussels realizing we are a government which implements what it promises,” Muscat, elected in March, told reporters in the Maltese capital today.

According to the commission, the Maltese economy will expand 1.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent in 2014. Muscat noted that while the Maltese opposition has criticized him for failing to spur job creation, the commission forecasts employment growth of 2.3 percent this year and 1.8 percent in 2014.

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