Sarkozy-Merkel summit disappointing, Verhofstadt says

“Though I welcome the common statement calling for an economic government of the eurozone, I do not really see how a Council of the Heads of State and Governments meeting once every six months will provide this”.

That’s the words expressed by Guy Verhostadt, President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) in the European Parliament, today following the meeting betweenthe German  Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French President Nicolas Sarkozy today in Paris.

The ALDE group president was deeply disappointed by the outcome of the Merkel-Sarkozy meeting. He did not miss the chance to stigmatize EU’s Heads of States inertia in a difficult situation.

“Action is urgently required”m he told the press. “The markets have already reacted negatively to today’s statement by Mrs Merkel and Mr Sarkozy. And the ECB cannot forever buys bonds of eurozone countries in difficulty. When will European leaders realise that they keep on making the same mistakes of too little too late. It is a quantum step towards a federal Union that is needed if the euro is to be saved. Todays announcements are sadly well short of the mark”.

Talking about the periodicity of the EU’s Heads of States meetings, Verhofstadt highlighted that “it is six times less than their colleagues in the Eurogroup“.

If the 27 EU Member States really want to get out of the economic and financial  troubles and relaunch their economies “what is needed is a real economic government that is in charge and can react effectively to all eventualities”, also added the ALDE group president.

This can only happen through the creation of an innercabinet in the Commission. The European Commission must be rearranged to include a cluster of Commissioners responsible for the Eurozone and headed by the current Economic Affairs Commissioner, who should also be the chairman of the Eurogroup in order to ensure enough authority and prestige.

“An economic government must also have tools at its disposal. Tools that are currently lacking. This includes the mutualisation of debt through the issuance of eurobonds and strict rules on public deficits that are policed independently from the Member States”.

“Finally, economic governance also means that there needs to be a common economic convergence plan for all eurozone Member States that sets out binding targets with both carrots and sticks. Simple targets as set out in the Europact Plus are not sufficient as already have been proved by the failure of the so called Lisbon-strategy”.



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