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Zahradil v EU

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Next speaker European conservatives and reformists. Mister prezident Jan Zahradil the flour is yours. Thank you mister president Mr President, how are you, President Barroso, how do you feel? I must admit I feel a lot of sympathy for you because I genuinely believe that you are aware that the situation is serious. At the same time, I have to admit that I do not share many of your views. I agree with you that fiscal consolidation, curbing of public expenditure and financial rigour are necessary because markets are very sensitive and markets at the moment do not forgive any mistake. However, good intentions are not enough. Let us make one thing clear: the euro currency was imposed on states of different development, different purchasing power, different GDP per capita, different living standards, different budgeting and different levels of competitiveness. It was done purely for political and ideological reasons because the euro should have served as a tool for further integration, not primarily as a single currency per se. OK OK Then came public overspending, lack of discipline, and this directed some countries to the verge of collapse. In normal situations at such a time countries would devalue their currencies to cope with those consequences but, of course, as members of the eurozone, they cannot do that because they are not allowed to do so. So the only solution remaining are firstly bail-outs, more bail-outs and even more bail-outs, or whatever you want to call them, and secondly, transition of monetary union into a fiscal union and, thus, most importantly the debt union. The logic of the first step, the bail-out step, is that the debts of some will be paid by the others, and the second step will mean a further shift of national power to the European level and further diminishing of the role of Member States. Mr Verhofstadt might like it, I very much doubt that most members of his own group like it as much as he does but, again, the most important thing is whether the people of Europe like it and whether it will help to promote more pro-European thinking amongst European nations. If you think that it does, you are wrong, ladies and gentlemen. I can tell you in my own country a recent poll has shown that 75% of people are against joining the euro, and do you really think that this is a result of some anti-European propaganda? No, it is not a result of anti-European propaganda, it is just a result of people who see and think. They simply do not buy into this idea any more of a federal Europe – that is very simple. I ask you frankly, President Barroso, do you concede that it may come to a situation where, as the only solution to the current problems, it might be that one or more of the eurozone members would have to leave the monetary union? Secondly, would you admit that some other still non-eurozone members could re-evaluate their thoughts about joining the eurozone or not? Please do not get me wrong. If it comes to that, my feeling is that it will not mean the fall of the euro, because none of us wishes that, but the mentality of the euro at all costs is precisely the way to destroy the euro. I understand that, if it comes to a reduction of the eurozone, that might be a political disaster for those who invested a great deal of their political capital into that idea, into the idea of a United States of Europe, but that is their problem. President Barroso, I can agree with you when you stressed the necessity to reinforce competitiveness, to complete the single market, to improve the legal background. Believe me, you achieve none of these things with an old and outdated EU framework. Mr Schuman, Mr Monnet, they were undoubtedly nice guys but their ideas are 50 years old. So please let us stop thinking in these terms because now, President Barroso, unfortunately for you, you have almost no choice between bad decisions and even worse decisions. For instance, another ‘worse decision’ you came with, which you have just mentioned, is the financial transaction tax. It sounds fine at first glance, just a small fee for transactions, but in the real world such a tax will lead to only one conclusion: that countries and institutions will seriously reconsider their location and they will leave the European market and this will undermine further the European economy. It is very simple. We need a new EU paradigm for the 21st century. Unfortunately, there is very little chance, almost no chance, of this new paradigm being born in this very building, in this very assembly. The longer I am here, the more I feel that this assembly is more a part of the problem rather than a part of the solution. I am sorry to say that, I am sorry for you President Barroso, but anyway I wish you good luck.

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 48 seconds
Country: Belgium
Language: English
Views: 2,823
Posted by: on Oct 1, 2011

Zahradil v EU

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