Life in a bubble – the Malta report

Life in a bubble – the Malta report

According to the European Commission’s winter forecast, despite a severe economic contraction of around 9% in 2020, Malta’s economy will grow by 4.5% in 2021. A recent proposal by the Commission to end quarantine and testing for vaccinated adults travelling from one EU country to another will be welcome news for the island nation, for which tourism is one of the top five contributors to the economy. The Maltese government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been robust and, at times, has been praised by the World Health Organisation. On 25 May, the minister for health Chris Fearne stated that 70% of the population had been vaccinated, making it the first country in the world to reach the estimated benchmark for herd immunity.

In June 2020, the Maltese government set out measures to alleviate the financial pressures brought on by the pandemic; these attempted to increase investment, incentivise domestic consumption and reduce the costs of operating a business. For workers, this meant the extension of the Covid-19 wage supplement with a particular focus on those who are dependent on the tourism industry for work. For businesses, a range of cost-cutting measures were introduced, including rent and electricity subsidies, refunds of trading licences, refunds on port charges and grants, among others. Employers were also offered cash to facilitate the costs of setting up workers to work remotely and a quarantine leave grant was offered for each worker who had to undertake mandatory quarantine. Also, at the start of the pandemic, €900m was provided in bank guarantees for businesses who required loans for operational matters, which was provided by the National Development and Social Fund, and a number of EU funds. Continue reading “Life in a bubble – the Malta report”

Sponsored briefing: Q&A with managing partner Dr. Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistre

Sponsored briefing: Q&A with managing partner Dr. Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistre

Dr Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistre is Gauci-Maistre Xynou’s managing partner, having co-founded the firm in 2015. Jean-Pie’s focus throughout his career has been in different areas in the maritime industry. Following stints with the EU Commission cabinet for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs and the internationally renowned ship management company, Eastern Mediterranean Maritime Ltd, he moved to Malta to head the legal department of GM International Services Ltd.

With GMX he specialises in ship and yacht registrations under the Malta Flag as well as ship and yacht finance. With the amendments to Maltese aviation law in recent years, he has also focused on the firm’s aviation practice. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Q&A with managing partner Dr. Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistre”