Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-02-25-Speech-3-053"

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"Mr President, in this magical world of the European Union, we never let reality intrude on our dreams, and from one summit to the next we go on regaling each other with fascinating fairy tales, such as the Lisbon Strategy or the European Constitution. In actual fact, the European Union, and particularly Euroland, is the Sick Man of the global economy. Only yesterday, we learned that Euroland had seen its external balance of trade fall by 58% in 2003, a drop that was entirely ascribable to the decline in its industrial exports. In all aspects of the game, Commissioner – growth, employment, investment and competitiveness – Euroland is being outplayed by all the other economic and monetary areas, including Japan now. But Mr Solbes and Mr Trichet, in their respective domains, continue to strut the stage regardless and, like Diafoirus the physician and his son in Molière’s to fob us off with their wrong diagnoses: ‘The diagnoses are the thing, I tell you’, says Diafoirus Solbes. ‘The diagnoses, I tell you’, replies Diafoirus Trichet. Have no doubt, gentlemen: with this medicine of yours, Europe will soon be a picture of health as she lies in her coffin. I am glad to say, however, that the Stability Pact is dead and buried, and its demise came at the hands of those who had wanted it but then changed their minds, as they are entitled to do, namely France and Germany. So there is no point, Mr Bigliardo – and I see he is not even here – in penning a tardy hagiography and, for some rather incomprehensible reasons, venting your spleen in aggressive tirades against France. The zeal of the convert, no doubt. As for you, Mr Solbes, it seems to me that you would do very well to use your few remaining months in office to put away your wooden sword, which has not served you very well, and to withdraw the action you brought against the Council before the European Court of Justice, which is essentially the sort of thing that could lead to a veritable war of secession in Europe. You would do better to ask yourself some questions about the euro, as the Italian President of the Council did. It is the euro that is obstructing the recovery of Euroland, because it has become the passive adjustment variable of the real monetary and commercial challenge to the United States and Asia. This point can be satisfactorily proved by comparing, even on the basis of the Lisbon objectives, the performances of the Euroland countries with those of their non-Euroland partners within the Union. So for pity’s sake, gentlemen, since we are coming to the end of this legislative term, open your eyes, rub the scales from them and face up to reality!"@en1
"Malade Imaginaire"1

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