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Wednesday, 7 July 2021 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Review of the macroeconomic legislative framework (debate)

  Michiel Hoogeveen (ECR). – Madam President, as the late US President, John Tyler, once said, ‘wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the savings of frugality.’ It is the bedrock on which our societies were built. But it seems today that these principles no longer hold any value. After the 2008 financial crisis and the 2010 European debt crisis, we made a promise to ourselves: from now on, things would be different. Fast forward to 2021, and the most important questions on the minds of our policymakers and central bankers seems to be: when can we all go shopping again?

So we find ourselves in a situation where interest rates are cut to zero and government debt is exploding. Saving for a rainy day becomes unprofitable, pensions evaporate and housing prices are skyrocketing. Our policymakers do not care. For them, it’s about the short—term gain. We need to spend, we need to borrow and we need to speculate.

And why reform our economies? They’ve just set up a Next Generation EU programme for Member States who have trouble financing their deficits. The so—called required reforms are a mushy concept. It is a fund which indeed should be called ‘next generation’, since they are the ones paying for it. I call it ‘Debt Generation EU’.

For the ones paying attention it is as clear as a bell: we are borrowing to the hilt; we are over—leveraging capital; and we’re avoiding painful, but necessary, choices. It is a bankrupt business model and it is high time we start reconsidering it.

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