Last week the Prime Minister and his faithful acolyte Finance Minister Tonio Fenech chose to call a press conference to inform all and sundry that Malta was out of recession after posting a mere 0.5 per cent in GDP growth in the last quarter of the year. Apart from the fact that GDP in real terms actually shrank by 1.9 per cent, one also has to take into account that these figures have to be compared to 2008 when growth not only stalled but actually took a significant nosedive.
With unemployment figures running close to the 8,000 mark and with energy prices skyrocketing to unheard of levels, it is clear that the PM and his bunch of lackeys have nothing better to do than keep on painting a rosy picture on the economy as if families out there are not suffering at all and everyone is living a high quality life. Nothing could be further from the truth as those many thousands who are struggling to keep up with ever increasing bills and other costs can testify. The fact that more people today are being pushed into the poverty group has also been expressed by the director of Caritas, Mons Victor Grech. Many manufacturing industries and tourism related jobs are still working on a four day week without any extra hours of overtime thus reducing family income more than previously.
The hypocrisy of the Nationalist government knows no bounds when everyone knows what a sorry state local industry is in. In fact Labour MEP Edward Scicluna who is also a hugely respected economist internationally has pointed out that the growth registered was only due to surplus industry stocks and with no real correlation to added output. The government and most of all the PN should stop using distracting tactics and taking people for a ride