Foreign Minister Tonio Borg believes that the golden rule constitutional amendment should be entrenched under the two thirds majority rule and discussions will held with the opposition.

Winding up the debate on Parliament’s approval of Croatia’s EU adhesion treaty, Dr Borg said that the text on this constitutional amendment was complicated and would probably be annexed to the Constitution as a schedule.

The pact imposed a balanced budget when the definition of balance stood at 0.5 per cent of the GDP but contained exceptions in cases of emergency. A corrective mechanism would have to be set up.

Malta is the sixth country to ratify Croatia’s adhesion treaty with European Union

The pact included the instruction of the golden rule which preferably had to be included in the constitution. He believed that if adopted, the golden rule would be beneficial to Malta’s economy even though certain sacrifices would have to be made.

He also said that Malta’s participation the European Stability mechanism also entailed a constitutional amendment.

Dr Borg declared that during the 50 years of Malta’s independence the two political parties moved forward in their maturity to the centre with the Labour opposition also accepting Malta’s membership in the EU.

Dr Borg replied to Dr Sant’s comments on the Ratification Act and the European Union Act and explained how the same procedure had been adopted on other EU treaties regarding the membership of Bulgaria and Rumania as well as other treaties. Where treaties involved EU states, Parliament was not presented only with a resolution but also with a draft order by the Prime Minister for its approval.

The ratification instrument was the authorisation that Parliament gave to the government to ratify a treaty. The two laws were already integrated and the same procedure would be adopted on other EU treaties to be ratified.

The fiscal pact treaty would be ratified by Parliament and certain fiscal laws would also have to be amended.

Dr Borg agreed with Dr Sant on the quality of scrutiny by Parliament adding that more could be done especially on financial affairs where the government had to provide clear explanations.

Minister Borg concluded that Malta was the sixth country to ratify Croatia’s adhesion treaty with the EU.

The motion was unanimously approved.

Croatia: Fact file

Full name: Republic of Croatia
Population: 4.4 million (UN, 2010)
Capital: Zagreb
Area: 56,594 sq km
Major language: Croatian
Major religion: Christianity
Life expectancy: 73 years (men), 80 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: 1 kuna = 100 lipa
Main exports: Machinery and transport equipment, clothing, chemicals
GNI per capita: US $13,870 (World Bank, 2010)
Internet domain: .hr
International dialling code: +385

(Source: BBC)

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