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International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department, and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
This paper undertakes a comprehensive review of the Fund’s sovereign arrears policies. Staff assesses that the Fund’s Lending into Arrears to Private Creditors (LIA) policy (established in 1989 and last reviewed in 2002) remains broadly appropriate, while recommending some improvements given the experience gained over the last 20 years. Staff also sees merit in codifying the existing practice guiding the Fund in preemptive debt restructurings into a Fund policy, together with an amendment focusing on debt transparency. Given limited experience with the application of the LIOA policy (established in 2015), staff does not propose any amendments but only one restatement confirming current practice. Given recent developments in the international creditor community, staff proposes refining the Fund’s arrears policies with respect to multilateral creditors. Finally, recent developments raise questions about the perimeter between official bilateral and private claims, with significant implications for the Fund’s arrears policies.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
The fallout from the COVID-19 crisis has hit the Maltese economy hard, particularly its large tourism sector. Using fiscal buffers accumulated prior to the pandemic, the authorities have taken swift actions to support households, businesses, and the healthcare system. With the rapid rollout of COVID-19 vaccine, the economy has reopened for the summer tourism season. While the outlook is surrounded by a high degree of uncertainty, the Maltese economy is expected to rebound by 5¾ percent this year, up from -7¾ percent in 2020. The financial system has remained stable. In late June 2021, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) put Malta under increased monitoring due to concerns about effectiveness of its anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework.
Mr. David Coady, Samir Jahan, Baoping Shang, and Riki Matsumoto
This paper provides an overview of the design of means-tested Guaranteed Minimum Income schemes, which constitute an important component of social protection systems in European countries. It discusses how key design features differ across countries, including how countries balance the primary objective of poverty alleviation against the desire to both manage the work disincentives inherent in such programs and contain fiscal cost. The analysis finds a clear trade-off between both concerns in practice, with many countries combining low generosity with low benefit withdrawal rates (BWRs) thus prioritizing employment incentives over the primary objective of poverty alleviation. Many countries can reduce this trade off by combining higher generosity with higher BWRs. Countries with very high BWRs should consider reducing these, including through allowing income disregards and time dependent (rather than income-dependent) benefit withdrawal. The work disincentives associated with higher BWRs can also be attenuated through strengthening complementary activation policies that incentivize and support participation in the labor market.
International Monetary Fund
This paper proposes that the Executive Board approve the disbursement of a second 6-month tranche of CCRT debt service relief to 28 of the 29 members, covering the period October 14, 2020 through April 13, 2021, given staff’s assessment that sufficient financial resources are available.2 In this context, the paper also provides brief updates for each beneficiary country on its policy responses to the pandemic and staff’s assessment of these policies and the use of resources freed up by debt service relief. It also provides an update on the finances of the CCRT and the fundraising efforts to secure adequate resources for grant assistance in the future. Based on grant pledges to date, resources are not sufficient to extend CCRT relief beyond the proposed second sixth-month period.