The fact that the Maltese government has managed to retain its stipends in terms of VAT on food and medicine exceptions is just one more example on how much better Malta is maximising its possibilities. The university and companies are capitalising the Leonardo and Da Vinci programs, as well as funds for innovation.
This is not a coincidence – there is a much better co-operation of government and the non-for-profit sector than in Cyprus. Cyprus has failed to make the most of the possibility of the EU and is incurring fines due to its failure to capitalise developmental funds. In many ways the issue in Cyprus is partially due to the inflexibility of government contract procedures and the instinct of the government to be a central factor in coordinating funds and the economy. Although government in Cyprus now is perhaps less open to clientalism than in Malta, the resulting procedures set in place make government mechanism inflexible – just look at slow progress on the marinas and desalination plants.
There is much we can learn from each other in terms of governance.