Malta’s Scicluna Says 2013 Budget Figures Show Policies Working

Maltese Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said budget-deficit figures released by the European Union’s statistics office showed that the government’s policies are working.

The Maltese government posted a budget deficit equivalent to 2.8 percent of gross domestic product in 2013, down from 3.3 percent a year earlier and below the EU’s 3 percent ceiling, Eurostat said in a report today.

“Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s government and myself have been very determined,” Scicluna said, adding that Muscat “believed and recognized the importance for Malta to meet its targets for the sake of its own credibility.”

Still, Malta’s state debt increased last year to 73 percent of GDP from 70.8 percent a year earlier. That’s above the European Commission’s winter forecast of 72 percent for 2013 and the EU’s ceiling of 60 percent.

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