Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2010-03-25-Speech-4-010"

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"Mr President, the report on the 2009 annual statement on the euro area and public finance was drafted during a period when the euro area was facing huge challenges and this period has not yet come to an end. The economic situation is a matter of major concern for the citizens of Europe and for all of us. At this time, the report was adopted by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs in a highly cooperative spirit and by a large majority. I would like to present the report against this background. On the one hand, it is very clear, both from the relevant Commission proposal and from the recommendations which Parliament and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs are presenting here in the plenary session, that the economic situation must be stabilised. On the other hand, the crisis, which has achieved a certain level of stability as the growth figures have recovered slightly, has entered a second phase represented by huge public budget deficits. This is the price which we have to pay in order to emerge from the crisis. The report’s message in this respect is very clear. We must return to the path taken by the Stability and Growth Pact as quickly as possible. We cannot pass on this level of debt to our children and grandchildren. However, the report also states very clearly that the rules in the Stability and Growth Pact are not enough. There are no corresponding measures for improved coordination in the euro area and it is important to resolve the imbalances within the euro area and increase the coordination of budgetary and fiscal policy. Those with responsibility for these areas in the euro area are now faced with the significant challenge of finding a responsible solution for these problems. This means that it is out of the question for every country to continue to insist on its individual privileges against a background of parochial politics. The Commission, in particular, and also the euro area countries, have a huge responsibility for introducing the necessary measures in this situation. I would like to summarise briefly our proposals in this respect. Firstly, we need effective instruments for economic coordination. Secondly, the structural dependency of the euro area on finite resources must be brought to an end. We cannot afford to slip back into recession the next time that there is a rise in oil and resource prices, which is already under way. Thirdly, it is essential that the financial markets are effectively regulated after this crisis. However, we are currently seeing individual Member States ensuring that sensible proposals are not even being made by central authorities, such as supervisory bodies. Fourthly, it is unacceptable that in a crisis of this kind the focus is not on the objective of social cohesion, contrary to the values of the European Union. Instead, individual Member States are expected to use ridiculous interest rates in order to finance their debts. This is why we are calling in the report for eurobonds or similar measures to be applied, in order to help the weaker Member States by means of solidarity. Most importantly, the necessary changes to fiscal policy must not be made at the expense of mass purchasing power. The simplest solution which would allow us to make good progress in this area is effective cooperation in the field of taxes. At long last, the Commission must quickly come up with some proposals for a common consolidated corporate tax base. The report also calls for the implementation of a country-by-country reporting system for corporate income. We are asking you to submit a corresponding proposal. In general, the principle of tax cooperation must take priority over tax competition, in particular, in the context of the work done by Mr Monti and the reinvigoration of the internal market. We need you to come up with effective proposals so that we do not come out of this crisis with even higher debts. Strong economic cooperation between the Member States will help us to ensure that we do not leave behind debts for our children, but instead a euro area in which the countries cooperate with one another rather than being dragged down by competition."@en1

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