A parliamentary motion has been presented for the creation of a standing committee on economic and financial affairs, Speaker Anglu Farrugia said this afternoon.

There is cross-party agreement on the formation of this committee, first proposed by former speaker Michael Frendo.

Malta was one of a very few EU countries without such a committee to oversee economic and financial affairs.

Dr Farrugia said the committee will afford more scrutiny on economic and financial affairs and will have power to summon anybody on Government organs, including the Central Bank governor, to appear in front of it.

Dr Farrugia presided a press conference in Parliament with PL whip Carmelo Abela and PN whip David Agius.

When it was pointed out that Dr Frendo had also proposed that there should be a structure to see how petitions are handled, Mr Abela said that this was also a PL commitment in its election manifesto and said the government would be keeping that commitment.

Dr Farrugia was asked about the new Parliament building which lacks office space. He said that he had asked to see the plans but as far as he knew there were discussions between the government and the architect.

Asked about his work now that he had taken up the position of Speaker on a full-time basis, Dr Farrugia said the work was the same but he would be concentrating on it full time.