Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-15-Speech-2-064"

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"Mr President, this is normally the time of year we all wish one another a ‘Happy New Year’. However, in the UK, and globally, the news this new year has been dominated by worries over the economy, and particularly over consumer credit. It is not just a question of normal post-Christmas depression; we all know that it goes much deeper than that. Credit is going to be a difficult issue for the foreseeable future, for both lenders and borrowers alike. As legislators confronted with that global backdrop, we need to do something. We need to stimulate the EU’s market in financial services, while on the other hand ensuring that our consumers make sensible and informed choices, and that all the information and the comparators are available to them in order to do so. Many of us in this House, and particularly in the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Affairs, have spent the last couple of years sitting on an enquiry by Parliament into the demise of the British insurer, Equitable Life. We know what the consequences are for consumers, in the context of financial services, if we get the cross-border regulatory regime wrong. In this instance we need such a regime and we need to get it right, particularly in view of the global circumstances we are facing. This directive can help. It can help Europe’s market in financial services at a difficult time, and it can empower and assist our consumers in obtaining credit and doing so competitively. My group has signed up to and put forward, with the PSE, a package that we hope will be agreed. It seems to us that, at the end of the day, we are faced with an argument that is almost about one word, in one article, after seven years of negotiating and drafting. It would be a pretty poor affair for this House and for Europe’s institutions if we cannot overcome that and deliver this directive, which will, hopefully, bring to the European market all the benefits we have heard outlined."@en1

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