30 May, 2018

Parliament debates future of Europe with PM Bettel

On Wednesday morning Members of the European Parliament and the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker debated about the future of Europe with Luxembourgish Prime Minister Xavier Bettel at the European Parliament plenary.

It is in the interest of European states to strengthen the community and speed up the process towards a European Union, exactly in those areas where citizens are calling for it,” Bettel said.

ALDE Group leader in the European Parliament Guy Verhofstadt MEP agreed with his liberal colleague by adding: “The urgent reform of the Eurozone doesn’t mean individual member states don’t need to do their own homework. Especially Italy. Between 1970 and 1996, Italy and Germany were equals in terms of competiveness, in terms of exports. Since the introduction of the Euro the economic situation of Italy deteriorated, simply because they cannot longer do competitive devaluations of the Lira. Devaluations - let’s be honest about this - are to avoid structural reforms. Devaluations on the back of ordinary people. Diminishing their purchasing power, weakening their pensions, their savings. Those today who defend an exit from the euro or a parallel currency want to go back to this. So it is not the euro’s fault that Italy is struggling today. It is the fault of consecutive governments and the lack of structural reforms. Italy needs to cut red tape, strengthen the rule of law, lower income taxes and taxes on small businesses. Italy should what France is doing right now: reforms, reforms, reforms."

"Besides these reforms, we need to achieve renewed solidarity in the Union, renewed solidarity between the North and the South, renewed solidarity that goes both ways. More precisely, Germany has to accept the Eurozone reform - as tabled today by Emmanuel Macron. In other words, Mr. Scholz has to copy Mr. Schulz, not Mr. Schäuble. And on the other hand, the South has to stand in solidarity with the North, with Germany, especially in the upcoming trade war with Trump.

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