Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-06-13-Speech-3-414-000"

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"Mr President, I believe that the European Semester is a key element of continued economic cooperation in Europe. Unless we succeed in aligning our economic policy guidelines more closely, the euro will come to a sticky end. That is why it is so interesting to see what the reality test looks like now, one year on. In fact, the reality test looks very varied. There are countries like Bulgaria, a true model pupil when it comes to implementing the recommendation, which scarcely anyone would likely have expected. And there are other countries like Slovenia, Slovakia, Malta and Spain, which have so far implemented almost nothing. Overall, the results are rather mixed. Turning to my own country, Germany, which is currently regarded as the model pupil, I can only say, as regards the recommendations of the Commission: Hats off, you have really put your finger on some of the sore points of German economic policy! You say that the low paid should be taxed less and be less burdened with social contributions. You say that we should levy ecological taxes more and burden the low paid less. And you also say we should dismantle some excessive professional regulation. I can only say that you are right. And you also say that the education system in Germany offers too few chances to those who do not come from strong parental homes. You are absolutely right. If I look at implementation in Germany, I would have to say that, in fact, nothing at all has happened in this direction. The fact that, as regards the assessment of the European Semester by the Commission, one has to look long and hard for it, makes me a little suspicious. One can find the assessment in working papers, where, under the relevant points, the phrase ‘partially implemented’ is written. However, the ‘partially’ really represents a very small part. One has the feeling that you are really looking for something to justify the ‘partially’. We now need two things. First, as regards the test, are the proposals that are not implemented submitted again? The only answer I can give is that, in the case of Germany, that is what you did. Fine, you demonstrated courage. You are also confronting Germany with it. When checking whether implementation took place or not, you hid rather too much behind the small print. I would like to see you have more courage to say clearly who did what and to say it like it is. This enables us citizens, policy makers and the media to really look into the matter and to bring the European Semester project to a successful conclusion."@en1

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