Former Luxembourg Prime Minister and EPP candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker this afternoon warned that Malta should halt rising unemployment as it was entering dangerous ground.

Addressing a press conference during a visit to Malta, Mr Juncker said that although unemployment in Malta was still relatively low when compared to other EU countries, the country was losing ground and should be careful not to slide further.

"It is a fact that Malta's unemployment is rising and if it hits the seven per cent mark it will become a problem," he warned.

According to Eurostat figures issued today, Malta's unemployment reached 6.8 per cent and slid two places in the EU ranking.

PN leader Simon Busuttil officially endorsed Mr Juncker's candidacy for Commission President and said that Mr Juncker knew Malta inside out as he had been one of the biggest supporters for Malta to become an EU member.

Mr Juncker later also had a meeting with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

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