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Debates
Tuesday, 14 February 2012 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Feasibility of introducing stability bonds (debate)
MPphoto
 

  Sven Giegold, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – (DE) Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, this situation reminds me of the time when, as a House, we took a cross-party decision that we wanted a financial transactions tax at European level, too. Tomorrow – and I am convinced of this – there will be a broad majority in favour of further steps towards common bonds in Europe. That is important for this crisis. With such a majority, Parliament would be sending out a clear signal that – in contrast to what many of the national parliaments and sections of the public have been happy to say – stability bonds are no work of the devil and instead have important benefits. This joint declaration shows that. They have important benefits, they provide a deep market that, at the end of the day, is highly liquid and thus capable of providing lower interest rates for all of Europe’s Member States for the long term. It is a prerequisite for communally secured debt that there is functional fiscal policy and that the budgets are sound. Ultimately, only when that is in place can there be large-scale communally secured debt. Comments of this kind have to be tempered, however, as we have long had communally secured debt in the European Investment Bank and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).

It is also important, however – and this is my second point – that this resolution shows that the strategy pursued by the Council to handle the crisis up to now is illusory. A number of countries have major solvency problems and simple economic calculations show that involving private creditors in Greece was simply not enough. Similarly, austerity alone cannot solve the problems in these countries – nor can growth alone. Simple calculations by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy show that the primary surplus of countries such as Portugal and also Greece is too high – even after the debt haircut for Greece that has still not quite been adopted – to ultimately see these countries emerge from the crisis. That is why the model put forward by the German Council of Economic Experts of having low interest rates to finance pre-existing debt is important.

Commissioner, I beg you to take this back to your fellow Commissioners. Do not allow yourselves to be sidetracked by the resistance of a few Member States. Without low interest rates for everyone, there is no way out of the euro crisis. You must, therefore, fall back on the Council of Economic Experts’ model. Examine the other models, too, and bring forward a bold and definitive proposal. The voice of Parliament is telling you that we want you to make your submission quickly.

 
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