• Debate: Means to combat the economic crisis, particularly in the Eurozone – Statement by the President of the Commission
• Video: EbS – European Parliament
“It’s a great shame Mr Van Rompuy’s not here because a month ago he told us the worst was over, we’d reached the turning point. He even told us that he’d solved the Euro crisis! Well, today we’ve got a more realistic Mr Barroso who says if we follow his policies and stick together we can solve this in the end!
Sorry! No one believes you anymore, and actually, in the face of the rapidly deteriorating situation these comments look ridiculous.
In Spain mass unemployment gathers by the day and internal democracy in Spain is now under threat.
In Italy where we were told Mr Monti would sort it all out, growth figures are falling and the bond spreads are worsening and now an IMF official has come out and said that it is obvious that at some point the Euro break-up will happen. These are big changes. The Euro is doomed!
And your policies, Sir! Even if Greece accepts the austerity you’re putting upon them, even if for the next eight years they obey all of this they will still, in 2020, have a debt:GDP ratio of 120% which makes one ask “What is the point?”.
And in Spain – If Spain was able to increase… [interruption]
The difference is, Sir, Britain is not trapped inside the economic prison of the Euro.
Now take this: If Spain was to increase… If she increased her productivity growth by half a percent a year, which at the moment looks unlikely- If Spain did that it would take her 40 years to close the competiveness gap with Germany. These countries were sucked in to a totally false economic boom with artificially low interest rates and they are now paying the price. These policies cannot succeed.
Mercifully, outside of this institution, economists the world over now say that it is inevitable that the Euro will break up. It is just a question of how. And I really hope that the IMF now decide to stop pouring good money after bad into these bailouts and I really do hope that not one penny piece more of British taxpayers‘ money goes into propping something up that should be allowed to die.”
• EU Member States:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom