Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-06-22-Speech-3-225-000"

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"Mr President, after listening attentively to today’s debate, I should like to make a few comments, if I may. Firstly, reference has been made very frequently in this Chamber to stimulation of the economy by means of additional budgetary expenditure. I think that the Members concerned are forgetting that there are countries in the European Union – and not just one or two, and not only Greece – which have domestic debt of over 100%, the sole cause of which is stimulation of the economy. As a result, we have achieved a certain level of economic growth, albeit somewhat artificial growth, but we have been left with the bills to pay, and we have to pay them now. There was talk of restrictive solutions in respect of limiting the deficit. Yet the proposed solutions state that each country is to reduce debt to 60% within 20 years. If 20 years to halve debt is the long-term perspective, what is the short-term perspective? I cannot imagine a longer-term perspective in this situation. Is it possible to abandon penalties, or is the penalty system a restrictive system? Fifteen years ago, when I was still a student, I learnt about the convergence criteria, and their mandatory nature. Yet they were only mandatory criteria on paper. If they were mandatory for anyone, it was only for those who aspired to join the euro area, and they were not mandatory for anyone in the euro area. In view of the above, such a system cannot be successfully introduced without penalties, and without restrictive penalties, as some have said. These sanctions existed on paper, but, as we remember and as we know, there have been no real sanctions to date. My last comment relates to the fact that members of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament have said that we should implement the 2020 strategy, and not merely cut spending. Yet these very documents talk about a European semester, among other things. They also introduce a new procedure for excessive imbalances. One of the features of this instrument is that it gives the European Commission influence over whether the Member States are implementing the 2020 strategy or not, and so it is worth telling the truth. I would urge you to adopt this package, for a lack of agreement between the Council, the Commission and Parliament on this issue will... ("@en1

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