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Postopek : 2011/2274(INI)
Potek postopka na zasedanju
Potek postopka za dokument : A7-0425/2012

Predložena besedila :

A7-0425/2012

Razprave :

PV 15/01/2013 - 17
CRE 15/01/2013 - 17

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PV 16/01/2013 - 8.4
Obrazložitev glasovanja

Sprejeta besedila :

P7_TA(2013)0011

Dobesedni zapisi razprav
Torek, 15. januar 2013 - Strasbourg Pregledana izdaja

17. Javne finance v ekonomski in monetarni uniji (EMU) - 2011 in 2012 (razprava)
Video posnetki govorov
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  La Présidente. - L'ordre du jour appelle le débat sur le rapport de Alfredo Pallone, au nom de la commission des affaires économiques et monétaires, Rapport sur les finances publiques dans l'UEM en 2011 et 2012 [2011/2274(INI)] - (A7-0425/2012).

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone, relatore. − Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, mi corre l'obbligo subito di ringraziare il Segretariato e tutti i colleghi relatori ombra, perché c'è stato un confronto tra persone perbene, che hanno perseguito il concetto del bene comune, schivi da pregiudizi ideologici, anche perché noi siamo del parere che oggi nell'Unione europea la situazione sia abbastanza preoccupante. Le nostre economie non sono ancora uscite dalla crisi e la spirale recessiva è sempre in agguato. La crisi ha avuto un impatto economico disastroso, causando seri squilibri alle finanze pubbliche nazionali, e al contempo ha ampliato le divergenze fra gli Stati membri.

Anche se si prevede una crescita del PIL nel corso di quest'anno, le prospettive a breve termine restano precarie. La crisi finanziaria si sta trasformando in una crisi sociale. Basti guardare i dati della disoccupazione: siamo arrivati all'11%. La situazione richiede misure d'urgenza: l'Europa ha bisogno di tornare a crescere. I passi avanti compiuti nell'ambito della nuova governance economica europea sono notevoli. Il Six-Pack e il semestre europeo hanno favorito un maggiore sforzo nel consolidamento fiscale, garantendo migliori condizioni macroeconomiche e una situazione finanziaria più stabile. Ma questo non è ancora sufficiente: bisogna accelerare il processo di adozione delle riforme: è il caso del Two-Pack, come ricordava prima il Commissario Rehn anche per altri tipi di procedure, e bisogna arrivare ad un'unione bancaria, che è una riforma inderogabile per una maggiore stabilità finanziaria dell'Unione europea.

Occorre inoltre esplorare altre forme di gestione e risoluzione della crisi economica al fine di minimizzare l'impatto sull'economia reale, sebbene una maggiore sostenibilità delle finanze pubbliche sia indubbiamente il primo passo per tornare a crescere. Il consolidamento dei bilanci pubblici rappresenta una condizione necessaria per il miglioramento della situazione economica europea. Tale consolidamento deve essere fatto in modo da impattare il meno possibile sui cittadini e sulle imprese europee.

Per questo la relazione sottolinea l'importanza di un consolidamento basato più sulla riduzione delle spese che sull'aumento della tassazione. Tale riduzione fa riferimento a tutti i capitoli di spesa improduttiva, a tutti gli sprechi, soprattutto quelli della Pubblica Amministrazione, e alle inefficienze dei vari livelli di governo. Rimane fondamentale l'importanza invece di mantenere tutte le spese produttive, con gli investimenti nella ricerca, nello sviluppo e nell'istruzione. In ultimo, è necessario condurre un'efficace lotta contro l'evasione fiscale, ragion per cui il consolidamento deve essere attuato mediante tagli alla spesa pubblica improduttiva più che sull'incremento delle tasse. Questo dovrebbe essere considerato solo a margine e solo nel caso in cui il taglio della spesa non si rilevi sufficiente.

Fino ad ora innalzare la tassazione è stata la soluzione più facile per alcuni governi nazionali, nell'ottica di ridurre l'ammontare di debito nel minor tempo possibile. Ma questo non ha fatto altro che accelerare la recessione. È quindi necessario rivedere le misure intraprese per ridurre l'impatto negativo. Tuttavia, il solo consolidamento non basta: accanto al risanamento dei conti pubblici, i governi nazionali devono avviare riforme strutturali per favorire un processo di crescita economica in linea con gli obiettivi che ci siamo dati nell'attuale strategia per la crescita Europa 2020.

Bisogna migliorare il mercato del lavoro, riducendo la tassazione e il contesto imprenditoriale per facilitare l'attività di impresa, recuperando altresì la competitività persa in questi ultimi anni, e aumentare la quota di investimento in grado di stimolare la produttività dell'euro. L'eccessiva austerità ha spiazzato i consumi delle famiglie e ha fortemente rallentato la produzione delle imprese, delineando una battuta d'arresto dell'attività del mercato interno.

 
  
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  Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the Commission. − Madam President, let me thank the rapporteur, Mr Pallone, and the committee for this important report at a very critical juncture for the Economic and Monetary Union.

I understand that there has been a rather tense debate on this report. This reflects the difficult situation of Europe in the crisis, which is analysed in the Commission public finance reports of 2011 and 2012. I take due note of the fact that your motion for a resolution concludes that ensuring the sustainability of public finances is necessary. Your report and resolution also stress the relevance of the efforts made by the Union in recent years to reinforce its budgetary and economic governance.

The Commission also agrees with Parliament’s view that such fiscal consolidation needs to be pursued in a country-specific and differentiated manner, aiming to preserve growth-friendly expenditure items and to respect equity among citizens in the name of social fairness. This is in line with the view expressed by the Commission in our Annual Growth Survey of last November.

Against the backdrop of a positive assessment of the report, I am glad to inform you that some of the relevant demands are already being fulfilled in current practice. In particular, the Commission already delivers country-specific and rather detailed recommendations to Member States, analyses the euro area as a whole and publishes its methodology underpinning the assessment of the structural balances of the Member States.

The coming months will still be difficult because the economy remains weak and our citizens continue to feel the impact of the crisis. But recent economic sentiment indicators are showing signs of stabilisation, and confidence in financial markets is considerably growing. This is reflected in the significant fall in borrowing costs for countries such as Ireland, Italy and Spain.

Confidence has been boosted by determined policy action at the European level and in our Member States, and also underpinned by the European Central Bank’s decision on ‘outright monetary transactions’. It is noteworthy that fiscal deficits have been reduced from above 6% in 2009 or 2010 to around 3% last year, and they should be coming down to a little above 2% this year. This is also to an extent the result of the work that has been done together by Parliament, the Commission and the Council to reinforce economic governance under the six-pack.

Even if there is less reason for pessimism at the start of this year than there was a year ago, we cannot afford to lower our guard. Instead, we must now capitalise on the improved sentiment and pursue the rebalancing and reforms of our economies with consistent determination.

It is precisely for these reasons that we proposed our blueprint for a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union, with a road map towards an EMU that can deliver our citizens the benefits of stability, growth and jobs which the EMU is supposed expected to ensure.

Therefore, in order to allow us to move forward on that road map, I would like to conclude by repeating myself and reiterating your call for the adoption of pending proposals such as the two-pack. Let me stress that its adoption depends on the decisions of all actors involved in the process, including Parliament, its political groups and each and every Member of this Parliament.

 
  
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  Othmar Karas, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar, meine Damen und Herren! Zum ersten möchte ich etwas außerhalb der Tagesordnung sagen. Wenn wir alle diese Maßnahmen ernst nehmen, Herr Währungskommissar, dann sind Sie der richtige Kandidat für den Vorsitz der Eurozone, dann sind Sie ein richtiger Kandidat für die Übernahme des Amtes des ersten Finanzministers der Europäischen Union, dann müssten wir die Kommission und den Währungskommissar stärken in der Kontrolle der öffentlichen Finanzen und in der Durchsetzbarkeit der Reformmaßnahmen in der gesamten Europäischen Union.

Es geht nicht nur darum, dass wir das Verhältnis der Budgetpolitik und der Mitgliedstaaten zur Europäischen Union neu definieren und einen Mechanismus entwickeln. Es ist dringend notwendig, auch das Verhältnis der Budgetpolitiken der Mitgliedstaaten zu ihren regionalen und lokalen Regierungen ins Auge zu fassen.

Ja, wir haben viel erreicht, aber nicht genug gemacht. Wir müssen einmal umsetzen, was wir alles vereinbart haben. Die Umsetzung des Europäischen Semesters, sixpack, twopack, Fiskalpakt – alles das sind Teile der notwendigen, nachhaltigen, stärkeren Koordinierung der Budgetpolitiken der öffentlichen Hand. Wir müssen den Schwung, mit dem wir begonnen haben, nützen, um die notwendigen Reformen durchzusetzen und die notwendigen strukturellen Verbesserungen der öffentlichen Haushalte in Angriff zu nehmen.

Es ist nicht zielführend, wie ich erwähnt habe, nur die Finanzgebarung des Bundesstaates zu kontrollieren, wenn wir gleichzeitig keine Übersicht über Ausgabenausgliederungen und spekulative Veranlagungen der regionalen Einheiten haben. Wir benötigen einen gesamteuropäischen Kassensturz, und wir benötigen Konsequenzen aus den Fehlentwicklungen der letzten Jahre mit einem konkreten Maßnahmenprogramm, was zu geschehen hat und von wem bis wann umzusetzen ist. Der Bericht ist gut, aber wir müssen weiter voranschreiten.

 
  
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  Άννυ Ποδηματά, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας S&D. – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, κύριε Επίτροπε, θεωρώ ευτυχή σύμπτωση το γεγονός ότι συζητάμε την έκθεση του κ. Pallone για τα δημόσια οικονομικά σήμερα, την ίδια μέρα δηλαδή με την πολύ σημαντική συζήτηση που είχαμε νωρίτερα με τη συμμετοχή του αυστριακού Καγκελάριου κ. Faymann για το μέλλον της Ευρώπης. Γιατί αυτό που αναδείχθηκε από την πρωινή συζήτηση είναι ότι εάν θέλουμε να έχει μέλλον η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση πρέπει να ξαναφέρουμε τους πολίτες στο προσκήνιο με περισσότερη και με καλύτερης ποιότητας δημοκρατία, με περισσότερη κοινωνική δικαιοσύνη, με καταπολέμηση όλων των ανισοτήτων, με προστασία της κοινωνικής συνοχής και με περιφρούρηση του κοινοτικού κεκτημένου σε όλα ανεξαιρέτως τα επίπεδα, και στο κοινωνικό και στο περιβαλλοντικό και όχι μόνο στο δημοσιονομικό.

Αυτό σημαίνει στην πράξη - και όχι μόνο στα λόγια - δημοσιονομικά προγράμματα φιλικά προς την ανάπτυξη και προγράμματα διαρθρωτικών αλλαγών που σέβονται και δεν αποδομούν τα κοινωνικά δικαιώματα, που προάγουν τα ανταγωνιστικά και συγκριτικά πλεονεκτήματα και διαφυλάττουν το ευρωπαϊκό περιβαλλοντικό κεκτημένο.

Κύριε Επίτροπε, γνωρίζοντας ότι έχετε υπόψη πως ορισμένες χώρες που εφαρμόζουν προγράμματα προσαρμογής δεν βρίσκονται σε αυτή την ισορροπία που περιέγραψα, σας ζητώ να κινητοποιηθείτε και να παρέμβετε για να προσπαθήσετε να την εξασφαλίσετε. Γιατί αυτός είναι ο μοναδικός δρόμος και για να έχει μέλλον η Ευρώπη και για να μην καταλήγουμε διαρκώς στο ίδιο σημείο αμφισβήτησης της βιωσιμότητας των δημοσιονομικών και μακροοικονομικών προοπτικών της Ευρωζώνης, αλλά και συρρίκνωσης της εμπιστοσύνης των πολιτών.

 
  
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  Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Madam President, how to take care of public finances to make them sustainable is the main political and economic issue of this decade. To achieve this objective the main groups of this Parliament believe that spending cuts are more effective than tax rises if they are growth oriented.

This report also remarks the great importance of raising new revenues through fighting tax evasion, which is very high in some of the European countries. Moreover, there are two very interesting ideas that I would like to remark on now: first, this Parliament states that regions without any responsibility on the revenue side, only funded through central government transfers, are more prone to fail in their fiscal consolidation efforts. This kind of financing for regions far away from real fiscal federalism is bad for everyone. In the end it makes regions spend more than their real resources enhancing deficits and subsidies; this is the case of Spain today.

Secondly, ministries and sub-sectors of government without concrete powers should be eliminated. It makes no sense to achieve fiscal consolidation efforts in our social services while they maintain useless bureaucracy. For instance in Spain, why do we need a health ministry, an education ministry, a culture ministry when all competences in these fields are in the hands of nationalities and regions?

Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, vorrei infine ringraziare l'onorevole Pallone per tutto il suo grande e buon lavoro.

 
  
  

ΠΡΟΕΔΡΙΑ: ΑΝΝΥ ΠΟΔΗΜΑΤΑ
Αντιπρόεδρος

 
  
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  Bas Eickhout, namens de Verts/ALE-Fractie. – Allereerst wil ik de rapporteur, de heer Pallone, bedanken voor de goede samenwerking in het kader van dit verslag over overheidsfinanciën en ik wil ook alle schaduwrapporteurs voor dit verslag, dat een evenwichtig beeld geeft van waar wij staan met de overheidsfinanciën. Ik denk dat wij het allemaal erover eens zijn dat wij heel erg goed moeten kijken naar die overheidsfinanciën. Wij moeten gaan kijken naar hervorming op de lange termijn en wij willen zeker geen investeringen in niet-productieve sectoren of niet-productieve groei. Dat is heel duidelijk.

Maar wat in het verslag ook heel goed tot uiting komt, is dat wij problemen hebben in de eurozone. De economie zal in 2013 krimpen en dat komt deels door die agenda van een heel streng bezuinigingsbeleid die de afgelopen jaren is uitgevoerd. Dat wordt ook in het verslag duidelijk gemaakt. Wij moeten niet alleen focussen op die bezuinigingen, maar wij moeten ook gaan kijken naar de investeringen om ervoor te zorgen dat de economie in Europa weer gaat groeien. Niet de niet-productieve sectoren, maar gewoon de sectoren die weer gaan zorgen dat wij een duurzame groei gaan genereren. Dat is ook belangrijk.

Dan heb ik toch een vraag aan de Commissie, aan commissaris Olli Rehn, die zegt: eigenlijk nemen wij al heel veel van dit soort aspecten mee en dit is vooral de continuering van wat de Commissie in het semester al doet. Ik lees toch vaak andere zaken in de aanbevelingen van de Commissie. Als ik dit verslag lees, dan vraagt het Parlement heel duidelijk om een verschuiving van belastingen, weg van arbeid en naar de milieukosten. Hoe vaak zien wij hele duidelijke aanbevelingen van de Commissie die heel duidelijk maken dat in alle landen van de EU die belastingen echt verschoven moeten worden?

Hoe vaak lezen wij in de aanbevelingen dat de belastingvlucht moet worden aangepakt? Hoe vaak lezen wij dat het echt tijd is voor investeringen? Hoe vaak lezen wij in aanbevelingen dat de onnodige defensie-uitgaven verminderd moeten worden? Het kan veel strakker en dit verslag laat echt zien dat de Commissie nog maar halverwege is. Ja, langetermijninvesteringen zijn nodig, maar het is vooral belangrijk dat de Commissie nu een echt zaken gaat aanpakken als de belastingvlucht, meer de verschuiving van belastingen, weg van arbeid naar milieukosten, en weg van onnodige uitgaven als defensie. Daar zou de Commissie nog eens veel steviger op moeten gaan inzetten in het semester en dat wil ik graag ook horen van de commissaris.

 
  
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  Ivo Strejček, za skupinu ECR. – Vážená paní předsedající, já v tomto plénu mnohdy vystupuji kriticky a mám radost, že hned na začátku svého dnešního vystoupení musím říci, že zpráva pana Palloneho obsahuje celou řadu pozitivních věcí, celou řadu postřehů, které schvalujeme, podporujeme a dokonce jsou některé, za které zpravodaje ve svém vystoupení pochválím.

Oceňuji, že pan Pallone výslovně zmiňuje nezbytnost reformy státní správy s cílem odstranit administrativní zátěže. To si myslím, že je i na půdě Evropského parlamentu, který velmi často produkuje naprosto nesmyslné a zbytečné byrokratické překážky, podstatné říci a je dobré, že to ta zpráva zdůrazňuje. Já mám dojem, že je třeba Vás, pane Pallone, pochválit za zrušení zbytečných úrovní státní správy, to znamená extra peněž, které jsou posléze zcela neefektivně utráceny. Pozoruhodný je Váš požadavek sladění nabídky kvalifikace s potřebami trhu práce, to si myslím, že je taky velmi podstatné. Ale za co Vás chci výslovně pochválit, je Vaše poznámka, kdy voláte po nižším zdanění práce a nezvyšování daní a kladate důraz na šetření v neefektivních výdajích. To si myslím, že je absolutně pozitivní.

My, evropští konzervativci, bychom dodali, že bychom si ve Vaší zprávě přáli více daňové konkurence, více privatizace, více důvěry v soukromé podnikání, méně regulací, ale to předpokládám, že jsme schopni v budoucnu společně doladit. Ta zpráva je víceméně dobrá a já jsem velmi rád, že k tomu mohu říci mnoho pozitivních poznámek.

 
  
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  Thomas Händel, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Im Gegensatz zu vielen anderen habe ich diesen Bericht gelesen und ich stelle fest, er negiert so viele Realitäten, wie ich es selten in diesem Parlament erlebt habe.

Das Positive zuerst: Der Berichterstatter hat Recht, Steuerhinterziehung und Betrug gehören bekämpft. Er hat auch Recht, zweifellos müssen makroökonomische Ungleichgewichte ausgeglichen werden. Aber so quasi nebenbei kommt ihm der Verdacht, ich zitiere: „dass unverhältnismäßig großes Gewicht auf die Kürzung der Löhne, der sozialen Sicherheit und der Renten gelegt worden ist“. Er negiert allerdings völlig die IWF-Kritik aktuell zur Sparpolitik, ich zitiere: „die Prognostiker haben den Anstieg der Arbeitslosigkeit und den Rückgang der Binnennachfrage infolge der Haushaltskonsolidierung signifikant unterschätzt.“ Er negiert auch, dass der Steuersenkungswettlauf in der Europäischen Union ein Einnahmenproblem und kein Ausgabenproblem produziert hat. Er negiert weiter, dass die Spekulation der Finanzmärkte dazu geführt hat, dass sich die Schuldensituation der Staaten drastisch verschärft hat.

Mit der falschen Medizin in höherer Dosis werden wir nicht aus dieser Situation herauskommen. Nötig wäre erstens die Erhöhung der Einnahmenbasis, unter anderem auch der Steuern für Großverdiener und Reiche, zweitens die solidarische Unterstützung der Mitgliedstaaten mit Schwierigkeiten, nicht deren Demütigung, drittens der Schutz der Mitgliedstaaten vor der Gewalt der so genannten Finanzmärkte, viertens Investitionen in neue, gute Arbeit für die Menschen und damit dann auch in Wachstum, fünftens die Verhinderung der Altersarmut anstatt ein Hochsetzen des Renteneintrittsalters, und sechstens muss endlich anerkannt werden, dass die Staatsquote auch Ausdruck von gesellschaftlichen, allgemeinen Aufgaben ist, die bewältigt werden müssen. All das erwähnt dieser Bericht nicht, und damit verdient er eine klare Ablehnung.

Ich sage ganz deutlich: Mit solchen Berichten gefährden wir die Glaubwürdigkeit der EU-Ziele soziale Gerechtigkeit und gleichwertige Lebensverhältnisse!

 
  
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  Theodor Dumitru Stolojan (PPE). - Atât propunerile din raportul prezentat de dl Pallone, cât şi situaţia reală din statele membre ne întăresc concluzia că acestea se află pe un drum bun. Au fost luate multe măsuri dure de către statele membre pentru eliminarea deficitelor excesive. Astăzi, Uniunea Europeană se află mai bine echipată cu instrumentele de care are nevoie pentru ca, în viitor, statele membre să-şi conducă finanţele publice într-un mod sustenabil. Aş dori să subliniez în mod deosebit importanţa semestrului european, un instrument care îşi dovedeşte tot mai mult utilitatea şi eficienţa.

Solidaritatea la nivelul Uniunii Europene a contat mult în redresarea financiară şi bugetară a unor state membre, dar ceea ce ne-a arătat, în final, realitatea este că responsabilitatea fiecărui stat membru pentru finanţele sale publice nu poate fi evitată.

În încheiere, aş dori să îmi exprim în continuare îngrijorarea pentru faptul că, în timp ce zeci de milioane de cetăţeni din statele membre au suportat consecinţele unor măsuri dure ale austerităţii, în continuare companii internaţionale şi cetăţeni sustrag veniturile de la impozitare în statele membre, folosind paradisurile fiscale şi aici aşteptăm, în continuare, iniţiative ale Comisiei Europene.

 
  
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  Liem Hoang Ngoc (S&D). - Madame la Présidente, je voudrais saluer le travail du rapporteur et celui des différents rapporteurs fictifs, qui ont fait preuve d'un état d'esprit particulièrement constructif. Ce n'était, donc, pas si tendu que vous l'imaginez, Monsieur le Commissaire. Les efforts importants réalisés, de part et d'autre, ont porté leurs fruits et le Parlement est, désormais, en mesure d'adopter ce rapport à une large majorité.

Ce compromis constitue un progrès notable dans le débat sur les politiques budgétaires. Le rapport propose des solutions équilibrées, qui se démarquent du dogme de l'austérité, qui a fait tant de dégâts en Europe depuis le déclenchement de la crise. Il envisage pragmatiquement des solutions permettant de concilier croissance et désendettement, un pragmatisme qui a tant fait défaut à l'Europe depuis 2009.

Trois idées-force sont présentes dans ce rapport. Première idée: la reprise passe aussi par l'investissement public productif et nécessite de laisser jouer les stabilisateurs automatiques, par exemple, les systèmes nationaux de retraite. C'est un point crucial, car, sans croissance, il ne peut y avoir de consolidation budgétaire.

Deuxième idée-force: le rapport demande à la Commission de publier les hypothèses utilisées dans les estimations du multiplicateur et du déficit structurel des États membres. Si les récentes réévaluations du multiplicateur, par le FMI, s'avéraient exactes, une stratégie de consolidation centrée sur les coupes budgétaires pourrait plonger durablement l'Europe dans la récession.

C'est pourquoi, troisième idée-force, le rapport soutient qu'une réforme fiscale, visant à accroître les recettes, peut tout aussi bien constituer un volet important des politiques de consolidation.

Mes chers collègues, alors que le FMI a, récemment, admis ses erreurs dans le calcul de l'impact de l'austérité, il serait regrettable que la Commission reste, seule, sur des positions dogmatiques, remises en cause chaque jour, par la réalité économique et sociale de l'Europe.

Nous souhaitons, donc, que ce rapport puisse inspirer les travaux de la Commission ainsi que les délibérations du Conseil.

 
  
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  Nils Torvalds (ALDE). - Fru talman! Först ett tack till föredraganden. Det är ganska lätt att hålla med hans konsekventa linje. Men ibland kan det också löna sig att kasta en liten blick bakåt i tiden. Det gör vi för att förstå när problemen egentligen har börjat.

Den gamla goda tiden i Europa slutade kring 1973 men av gammal vana levde nästan alla stater efter det på skuld i förhoppning om att de goda tiderna skulle återkomma. Efter de goda åren inträdde den tid som man kan beskriva som ett begränsat handelskrig där man skaffade sig små övergående fördelar genom att devalvera mot varandra. Den perioden tog slut med EMU och övergången till euron.

Nu förs samma begränsade handelskrig med skattepolitiska medel. Den konkurrensen skadar oss alla och undergräver den ”de facto-solidaritet”, för att nu använda Robert Schumans ord, mellan Europas medborgare och Europas länder som vi egentligen behöver.

Ett speciellt fall i dagens Europa är Grekland. Det är svårt att exakt mäta arbetslöshetssiffrorna i en ekonomi som fortfarande sjunker men de siffror vi ser är förskräckande, med en ungdomsarbetslöshet på 56 procent. Vi är skyldiga våra europeiska bröder och systrar lite mera än vad vi nu vill ge dem. Tack.

 
  
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  Kay Swinburne (ECR). - Madam President, I agree with the premise of Mr Pallone’s report and I thank him for all his hard work. I believe that there is a lot of helpful analysis of how to manage public finances which I hope my Welsh Regional Government will pay some attention to. In the current climate of fiscal consolidation and enhanced scrutiny of all public expenditure, governments at all levels should be looking very hard at what they can justify putting public money into.

While this report raises a point about spending on expensive military equipment, I would ask that my own Welsh Government think long and hard about spending tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on purchasing their local Cardiff airport. When a private company that successfully runs airports in Stockholm, London and Orlando cannot make it operate sustainably, how can the Welsh Government and their civil servants think they can do a better job using taxpayers’ money? I am not entirely sure how purchasing a poorly-performing airport is going to prove a wise investment of public funds. As this report suggests, instead of pet government projects wasting scarce public funds, we should instead be spending this limited public money wisely and investing in jobs and growth for our future.

 
  
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  Mojca Kleva Kekuš (S&D). - Gospodarska, finančna in bančna kriza, s katero se Evropa spopada zadnja leta, ima brez dvoma močan negativen vpliv na javne finance v vseh državah članicah. Posledično se danes v Evropi soočamo z ohromljenim družbeno-gospodarskim razvojem, maje se celo politična stabilnost v nekaterih državah članicah.

Ob negativnih obetih glede hitrega izboljšanja gospodarskih razmer ter alarmantnih ravni brezposelnosti in naraščajočih nivojih revščine je nujno potrebno, da se politike fiskalne konsolidacije prilagodijo realnosti v različnih državah članicah. Vpliv varčevalnih ukrepov je potrebno uravnotežiti z ukrepi za krepitev rasti, ekonomskega razvoja in zaščite socialnega varstva.

Fiskalno disciplino in varčevalne ukrepe mora spremljati solidarnost na evropskem nivoju, izdaja skupnih dolžniških instrumentov pa mora postati evropska realnost.

Prav tako je pomembno, da mlade postavimo v ospredje evropskih rešitev in jim zagotovimo možnost aktivnega sodelovanja na trgu dela, kreiranja rešitev in sooblikovanja politik prihodnosti, o čemer piše tudi današnje poročilo.

In nenazadnje ob dejstvu, da vsako leto v Evropi zaradi utaj davkov in davčnih goljufij izgubimo približno milijardo evrov, je nujno, da se države članice čim prej glasno odzovejo na izboljšanje prihodkov nacionalnih proračunov z bojem proti davčnim utajam in davčnim goljufijam, o katerih bomo govorili v naslednjih mesecih.

 
  
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  Derk Jan Eppink (ECR). - Madam President, let me first stress that I support the overall tone of Mr Pallone’s report. Most eurozone Member States urgently need credible strategies for budgetary consolidation. High levels of public debt do not provide scope for more fiscal stimulus. Consolidation should be based on cutting government over-spending rather than on increasing taxes.

Consolidation should also go hand in hand with structural reform, like more flexible labour markets. Even France is taking the first small steps towards reforming the labour market, but more is needed. I congratulate the French employers association MEDEF on its leading role. Unfortunately there are some weaker points in the report, probably as a result of too much compromising to the left. These include a role for the EU budget to reduce macroeconomic and social imbalances and, more importantly, the European youth guarantee, which would only introduce more rigidities in the labour market and more thresholds. It is very difficult to promise jobs that do not exist. It will produce a counterproductive impact. It is a typical unintended consequence of a good intention and therefore my group prefers to abstain.

 
  
 

Διαδικασία catch-the-eye

 
  
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  Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz (PPE). - Először is gratulálok Pallone képviselőtársam jelentéséhez, mert nagyszerűen mérte fel az elmúlt 3 év eseményeit úgy a válság, mint a válságra adott válaszok tekintetében. Egyetértek azzal a megfogalmazásával, hogy a tagállamoknak a helyzete nem egyforma, ezért olyan fenntartható és növekedésbarát stratégiákat kell bevezetni, amelyek illeszkednek az országspecifikus ajánlásokhoz, és elfogadják az érintett tagállamoknak a pénzügyi konszolidáció érdekében tett lépéseit is. A sorok között az is jól kivehető, hogy a költségvetési konszolidáció alapvető követelmény, de nem elégséges feltétele a gazdaság újraindításának. Nagyon fontos aspektusa a jelentésnek, hogy külön szól a munkát terhelő adóknak a csökkentéséről, amelyre azért láthatunk jó példát, például Magyarországon, hazámban is hasonló lépések történtek, illetve a magyar kormány azt is felismerte, hogy a szolidaritást tágabban kell értelmezni, és minden érintettől együttműködést kér, nemcsak a lakosságtól megszorításokon keresztül, hanem az érintett vállalatokon keresztül, szolgálatokon keresztül és bankokon keresztül szeretné ezt megvalósítani. Még egyszer gratulálok, és támogatni fogom.

 
  
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  Erik Bánki (PPE). - Elnök Asszony, Biztos Úr! Csatlakoznék képviselőtársamhoz, én is köszönöm a jelentéstevőnek a munkáját, és azt az anyagot, amelyet elénk lerakott. Az államháztartás stabilizálása alapvető fontossággal bír a válságkezelés tekintetében. Ezt én magam sem vitatom. Fontos azonban figyelembe venni azt, hogy nem lehet az EU-tagországok tekintetében egységes receptet alkalmazni. Ez olyan volna, mintha a keringési problémákkal küzdő betegek esetében ugyanazt a gyógyszert írnák fel az orvosok a fiatalabbaknak, az idősebbeknek a túlsúlyosaknak vagy éppen az anorexiával küzdőknek.

Az elmúlt évek stabilizációs programjai jelentős eltéréseket mutattak az eredményesség tekintetében. Mára már világossá vált, hogy az IMF mindenhatónak tűnő, szigorú megszorításokra épülő válságkezelő receptje nem váltotta be a hozzá fűzött reményeket, hiszen nyomában meredeken emelkedő munkanélküliség, zuhanó lakossági fogyasztás és súlyos létbizonytalanság áll. Érdemes több figyelmet szentelni azon tagországok gazdaságpolitikai sikereinek, amelyek nem az IMF receptjét követték, hanem saját utat jártak, mint amilyen Magyarország is volt, amelyről ma már az Európai Bizottság szintjén is és a nagy hitelminősítők szintjén is elismerően beszélnek.

 
  
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  Inês Cristina Zuber (GUE/NGL). - Não restam dúvidas sobre a cumplicidade da maioria do Parlamento em relação à dita política de austeridade. Este relatório é mais uma prova disso. Aqui se reincide na contradição de que a austeridade pode ser aplicada como uma política de crescimento económico, ideia defendida pela social-democracia, na tentativa de branquear a sua conivência com o rumo do desastre económico e social que está a ser imposto a países como o meu, Portugal.

A maioria do Parlamento, aqui, para além de validar o caminho que tem vindo a ser imposto a vários países em termos de finanças públicas, defende que se vá ainda mais longe. Defende-se a redução de impostos sobre o trabalho para as empresas, o que ameaça a sustentabilidade dos sistemas de segurança social, o aumento da idade da reforma, a ligação dos salários à produtividade, ou seja, traduzindo, uma maior desvalorização dos salários com todas as consequências recessivas e de aumento de pobreza, a liberalização e privatização de empresas públicas, o aumento de despedimentos na administração pública, a extinção de níveis de administração, ou seja, a redução de serviços públicos, negando direitos básicos às populações. Muito se ouve neste Parlamento sobre a criação de empregos e a necessidade de crescimento. É irónico que as soluções propostas sejam sempre o aprofundamento das mesmíssimas políticas que estão a criar o caos social e a encher os bolsos do grande capital.

 
  
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  Jaroslav Paška (EFD). - Návrh uznesenia Európskeho parlamentu o verejných financiách v menovej únii za roky 2011, 2012 potvrdzuje prehlbujúce hospodárske problémy a rastúce zadlžovanie eurozóny. Dosiahnutie udržateľnej platobnej bilancie, zdravých verejných financií a obnovenie hospodárskeho rastu sú však jediným východiskom z tejto situácie. Pre obnovenie finančnej stability je potrebné urobiť úsporné opatrenia v oblasti výdavkov, ako napríklad obmedziť investície s nízkou či diskutabilnou návratnosťou, zjednodušiť verejnú správu a znížiť náklady na jej prevádzku či reformovať a modernizovať dôchodkové systémy tak, aby sa dosiahla ich finančná udržateľnosť. Na druhej strane je potrebné prijať opatrenia na zlepšenie príjmov štátu, a to najlepšie podporou podnikania a zamestnanosti, ako napríklad zjednodušením pravidiel pre zakladanie nových firiem, odstránením neopodstatnených obmedzení pri regulovaných povolaniach, zlepšením pružnosti trhu práce, liberalizáciou pravidiel zamestnávania, rozumným znížením zdanenia práce či prispôsobením vzdelávania potrebám pracovného trhu. Musíme sa však poponáhľať, lebo za nerozhodnosť a odkladanie nevyhnutných reforiem dnes naši občania platia vysokú cenu hospodárskeho úpadku a zbytočnej politickej nestability.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the Commission. − Madam President, let me again thank Members for a very serious and substantive debate, which is in line with the seriousness of the subject we are discussing. The high level of public debt will be a key issue, if not the key issue, in the current decade.

As I said in my introductory remarks as a comment on the report, public finances in the European Union are gradually improving, and so, therefore, is market confidence in governments’ economic policies.

The situation varies substantially across countries. This is why the Commission applies a differentiated approach to consolidation, taking into account the respective challenges of each and every Member State when determining the required fiscal adjustment effort.

Some Members have referred to the question of fiscal multipliers in their speeches. I recall that Hoang Ngoc and several other Members referred to this issue and to recent studies by the International Monetary Fund: the first one in October and a revised one in December by Olivier Blanchard, the chief economist, and Daniel Leigh.

I want to say a few things about this quite briefly. First we agree with the IMF that the fiscal multipliers are likely to be larger than usual when households are credit-constrained and monetary policy is already accommodated. We also agree, importantly, that fiscal multipliers vary across countries, across time and across economic contexts.

From this standpoint, I want to particularly focus on three issues where the analyses and conclusions by the IMF and the Commission have converged, a fact that may have been lost in the controversy which has surrounded this issue in the debates involving economists and policy-makers.

The first is that multipliers are as much about the growth effect of fiscal consolidation as that of fiscal stimulus. Both the Commission and the IMF have found – although to a different extent, owing to the different country samples taken – that the most significant episode of understatement of the multipliers was for 2010, when most countries were implementing fiscal stimulus measures.

There are good economic reasons why measures which are announced as temporary and are credible will have a more pronounced effect on growth. Conversely, subsequent consolidation takes the form of permanent measures and the effect on growth is likely to be more subdued.

Second, multipliers are about the incremental effect of fiscal policy on growth. Evidence that larger consolidations may have produced unanticipated growth shortfalls does not mean that reversing consolidation would have resulted in better growth outcomes.

A lack of credible consolidation, particularly for countries at risk of losing market access, would have resulted in such a high rise in risk premiums as to offset or outweigh the benefits of a more lenient fiscal stance. In their most recent paper Blanchard and Leigh themselves very clearly cautioned against interpreting their findings as a call for reversing the course of fiscal policy followed since the crisis.

I shall give you an example. Think of Italy in the autumn of 2011, say between September and December 2011. If Italy, whose fiscal policy was already being questioned, had further relaxed its fiscal targets then it would have seen a very substantial rise in its already high interest rates, which would essentially have led to the end of sovereignty in Italy. It really depends on the context, and varies across time, and we cannot have one general rule governing the conduct of fiscal policy in all circumstances.

My final point is that there is empirical evidence, based on serious academic research, that public debt levels become a drag on growth if they get too high. Debt levels in the euro area, especially in some euro area Member States, are certainly too high. So the alternative of leaving debt at those elevated levels would also depress growth.

We have to recall that public debt in the European Union has risen from around 60% of GDP before the crisis five years ago to around 90% this year and next year. It is widely acknowledged that when public debt levels rise above 90% or 100%, they tend to have a negative impact on economic dynamism, which translates into low growth for many years. That is why consistent and carefully calibrated fiscal consolidation remains necessary in Europe.

I want to finish by saying that, in this context, there has been a lot of discussion about whether we should have nominal targets or focus on the structural effort. We apply a country-specific differentiated approach to fiscal consolidation, and each country’s consolidation effort is specified in so-called ‘structural terms’, which means focusing on the medium-term budgetary objective to reduce debt, and thus on the structural sustainability of public finances over the medium term.

This implies removing the effects of the business cycle and one of the measures on the budget, and it means if growth deteriorates in an unexpected manner a country may be given extra time to correct its excessive deficit, provided it has delivered the agreed structural fiscal effort. Such decisions were taken last year, 2012, for Spain, Portugal and Greece.

Nevertheless, let us not forget that our level of public debt is very elevated. That is why we simply have to work with consistency towards the steady consolidation of our public finances and towards sustainable growth and job creation in Europe.

 
  
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  Alfredo Pallone, relatore. − Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, per prima cosa volevo ringraziare tutti i colleghi che hanno concorso all'elaborazione della relazione, i relatori ombra e i colleghi che hanno preso la parola oggi, perché ritengo si tratti di interventi molto interessanti. Alcuni colleghi si sono pronunciati anche in modo interessante su tutta una serie di emendamenti proposti, i quali sono poi stati accolti mediante compromessi. Ma ha ragione il Commissario Rehn: non possiamo abbassare la guardia, perché la crisi non è superata. Anzi, la discussione è ancora aperta e sono giustificate le critiche sollevate perché si è adoperata la parola "medicina" per la malattia. Stiamo attenti: molte volte le medicine sono peggiori delle malattie quanto si considerano con molta superficialità certi problemi.

Sono d'accordo con il Commissario Rehn – e lo rileva anche la relazione – la questione del risanamento di bilancio è tutt'ora aperta e desta interesse. La forma che deve assumere è a tutt'oggi una questione aperta – non c'è nessuno che abbia la panacea – ed emergono differenti correnti di pensiero, sia all'interno delle istituzioni europee che del mondo accademico. C'è un giusto mix fra tassazione e spesa pubblica. Vorrei precisare a tal proposito – e mi trovo d'accordo anche qui con il Commissario Rehn – che non esiste una ricetta valida per tutti e che le grosse differenze fra i vari Stati membri ci impongono di riflettere sulle situazioni nazionali sulla base delle differenti specificità. Il Commissario ha nominato la Spagna, la Grecia, l'Italia, paesi del sud che hanno situazioni completamente differenti.

Signor Commissario, io chiedo che sia anche impostato un discorso sul binomio inscindibile tra risanamento e crescita: occorre avviare un discorso di crescita attraverso il risanamento di bilancio. Ma se tralasciamo la crescita, rischiamo fortemente, concentrandoci unicamente sulla tassazione, di entrare in una spirale viziosa tra il problema della spesa pubblica e il problema della recessione.

Ecco perché dobbiamo riflettere su questo tema, e dobbiamo farlo scevri da ogni questione ideologica, mettendo al primo posto, come diceva la collega, l'interesse dei cittadini.

 
  
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  Πρόεδρος. - Η συζήτηση έληξε.

Η ψηφοφορία θα διεξαχθεί την Τετάρτη 16 Ιανουαρίου στις 12 το μεσημέρι

 
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