During a visit to the offices of the Co-Operatives Board in Valletta, Labour party leader Joseph Muscat said that it high time that a co-operative Bank is established in Malta.
Dr. Muscat said that the PL in government would create the right framework and enact the relevant legislation to set up the first co-operative bank in Malta.
The Labour Leader explained that co-operative banks were working well even in during these economically problematic times. Recently, the government mentioned some proposals in the co-operatives sector and these should be developed further.
We should continue backing private co-operatives, but the country should also encourage other co-operatives originating from the civil service, continued Dr. Muscat. An experiment carried out in 1993, to implement the legal framework for co-operatives, should be broadened for a wider use.
Joseph Muscat said that the country should create the right atmosphere to ensure good governance among co-operatives.
The Labour Leader mentioned the efforts that were made to introduce co-operatives among children and students, through an initiative called ‘Scoops’. This should be revived and given a new lease of life, said Dr. Muscat. He also said that the Labour Party was a firm believer in the principle of co-operatives and he believes that this is the right time for the co-operatives movement in Malta, to take the next step towards furthering these principles.
Wilfred Kennely, the President of the co-operative movement said that co-operative societies in Malta have opened new frontiers, such as consultancy, services and child care centres, among others. He concluded by saying that the government should create the correct atmosphere for the creation of more co-operatives, especially since this year is the United Nations Year of Co-operatives, with a theme of “Co-operative enterprises build a better world’.
Dr. Lydia Abela, Secretary to the executive of the Labour Party, accompanied Dr. Muscat on this visit.