UPDATED: Maltese edition of Budget Speech goes to print
di-ve.com is today following Malta's Minister for Finance, Tonio Fenech, as he prepares before delivering the government’s budget for 2013 later today.
The Finance Minister on Budget Day
Having finished off the budget speech at around 04:00h, the Minister forwarded the 90 page speech to his staff in a last attempt to shorten the reading time.
Waking up slightly later than usual after a very late night at the office, Mr Fenech this morning opted not to take his son to school himself and concentrate more on getting back his voice in time for the delivery of the budget speech this evening.
07:30h Leaving his home at Balzan Mr Fenech told di-ve.com that today would be one wild rush for himself and his staff. "The public should expect a budget that caters for the realities facing us these days, whilst addressing the securing of jobs and regeneration of the economy in a bid to keep Malta above the still stormy waters which are effecting the economy of our neighbouring countries."
08:00h The Minister is now at his Office in Valletta where he will go through the final details of the budget speech before other budget related commitments.
09:00h The Minister has now reached the office and will spend the next few hours making the final changes to the 2013 budget speech
The government printing press has already finalized the financial estimates and economic survey whilst the actual budget speech is expected to commence printing at around 14:00h.
This will be the 9th budget presented by Tonio Fenech. It will be the 9th consecutive year that the same budget suitcase will leave Maison Demandols which houses the Ministry of Finance and head to the house of representatives.
As per tradition, this budget suitcase is specifically used by Minister Fenech. every Minister of Finance has his own budget case which he gets to keep as a souvenir after his Ministerial term expires
10:00h Coalition partner Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando has just left the Ministry of Finance where he discussed budgetary details with Tonio Fenech.
JPO told di-ve.com that; "this is promising to be a very positive budget in the light of the current European economic situation." JPO also said that he will support the current budget bill.
11:30h The workers at the Goverment Printing Press at Marsa have worked through the night and availed themselves of only two hours of rest in order to get all the publications regarding the budget ready for this evening.
Director of the Govt. Printing Press Carmel Sammut told di-ve.com how in the past 24 hours the printing press has finalised 1100 copies of the Financial Estimates and 900 copies of the Economic Survey. The front cover of the Budget Speech is currently being prepared, then the workers have to wait until after 15:00h to have the speech available to them for printing. At this time a mad rush will kick off the printing of 1000 copies in Maltese and 600 copies in English in time for the reading of the speech in Parliamnet.
"This is my 44th Budget publication," Mr Sammut said, continuing that at times he had asked for a Police escort in order to beat the traffic and get the copies of the budget speech to Parliament on time.
12:00h Minister Tonio Fenech has just recorded a message for the budget website www.budget2013.com.mt which will go online at the same time that the Minister starts reading the budget speech in Parliament
15:00h A copy of the budget speech has left the Ministry of Finance, Investment and Economy and arrived at the Government Printing Press at Marsa were the printing machines have once more came to life.
Within the next two hours the Government Press would have published 1000 copies of the Budget speech in Maltese and a further 600 copies of the Budget Speech in English.
The final version of the Budegt Speech in Maltese has 94 pages, which go up to 112 pages with the appendices. The English version is still being prepared.