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"Herr Präsident! Ich möchte auch zu Beginn klar unterstreichen, was der Präsident dieses Hauses wegen Boston gesagt hat. Unsere volle Sympathie gilt natürlich den Opfern und den Angehörigen der Opfer. Because this is also about fair integration. It is not fair that many of the rich can take their money out into tax havens while the poor have to pay the tax. It is not fair and we need to reconsider this. Why do we not have in Europe something like the Corporate Tax Fairness Act, as they do in the US? Why should we look on as the US fights with Switzerland and others in order to get their taxes back without doing anything? We need help. Luxembourg has already moved, and Austria will have to move – the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance made some remarks on this. Then we have the common strategy, and we have to support the Commission and Commissioner Šemeta on a common strategy against tax evasion. I am very happy that your Finance Minister, Jutta Urpilainen, is working on this issue. I hope you give her your full support. I am very happy that some of the finance ministers are doing something on this very important issue. But of course, we have to work on the tax differentials in the European Union. We do not need a uniform tax, but at least – at first – a uniform tax base. It is not good that many companies from Portugal go to the Netherlands, not in order to invest but just to save taxes. This has nothing to do with fairness, European cooperation and national responsibility going together with Europe. Of course, Prime Minister, I would be very happy if you could change your mind on the financial transaction tax, because that could also be a part of the fair Europe and the fair integration that we need. Why not join the other countries which are moving in that direction? Maybe you will be convinced very soon. I hope that you will be convinced. In the end, the Prime Ministers of Europe have taken responsibility through the European Council. They have much more interest and engagement and, hopefully, much more responsibility. If we come to a point where fairness, transparency – which is vital for the tax issue – and social justice are high on the agenda, Prime Minister, I think we can really help to bring about fair integration. This is what we need in Europe. But please consider that in the euro zone, fair integration means much more integration than it did at the time when Finland was able to solve its problems alone. So consider the Finnish example, but in a fair, transparent way in the euro zone. That would give Europe a good boost forward. Thank you for your attention. Mr Prime Minister, you said that fair integration was the headline of your speech. I can agree – not with all the details, but we will come to that – because I think that is what we have to fight for in Europe. The fact is that we are in a disastrous situation in Europe today, with unemployment and the current social and political situation. You also mentioned that many citizens in our Europe are not in agreement with European policies and that more and more of them are against Europe itself. That is a danger. It is not only about specific policies. We absolutely have to take up the citizens’ concerns and be serious about them without going into populism. But then, Prime Minister, we also have to be fair to the citizens. You spoke about the situation in Finland some years ago. Finland was not yet in the euro zone. There was no euro zone. It does make a difference whether you are in the euro zone or not. The Latvian case, which has been mentioned again and again, was not a euro zone case. In the euro zone the situation is different, and we have to have a different kind of solidarity and more European solutions. Secondly, we are in a depression – a recession. We are in a recession which is, unfortunately, even being promoted by the policy of the European Union. How can we convince citizens to reform the labour market, for example, when the main message from Europe is reducing the social fabric and reducing and cutting social expenditure, including expenditure – and I shall come back to the example of Portugal – on education? You spoke with the citizens of Portugal. I agree completely that it is a very good thing that you were there. But did you ask the citizens what they think about the troika and European Union policies in their own country – about the troika which agreed on the package which the Portuguese Constitutional Court said was unconstitutional? This is how European policy is seen by many citizens today. Therefore, we have to change our policy. We will come to that immediately. You are right that fair integration also means cooperation between the North and the South. I have been to Finland several times, and I always try to meet institutions and start-ups in the technological field. Finland has a lot to offer, not just with reference to the macroeconomic but also to the microeconomic development. Why do we not use more of these cooperative models between the North and the South to create some ways of making reforms and changes? But let me come back to the macroeconomic situation. The Commission President and Vice-President Rehn very often say that the next semester will be better. They have been saying for many years now that it will soon be better and that we shall soon reach the end of the tunnel. But we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel because it is not there. Again we have these promises. This is what European citizens see today, and the troika is malfunctioning. The members of the troika argue increasingly often about who is responsible for what. I think we should stop that. The Commission is responsible for the policies. We may not like many of the things that Mr Rehn does, but he is a responsible person. I want him to be responsible, not the troika of the IMF and the ECB, which increasingly we cannot not see what it is doing. It is not a democratically-based institution. The Commission is elected and is democratically-based. Let us stop playing this game. Let the Commission have responsibility. Of course the Council has to agree, but we have to change this tendency, because citizens are getting more and more annoyed by this kind of activity. We have to change. The same is true not only in Cyprus and Portugal but in other countries as well. Finally, concerning growth: we need more growth in order to convince citizens to make the necessary reforms. We may agree on several of the reforms, but again, psychologically it is not possible to ask people to enact reforms if there is no hope that they will lead to development. People always say that there is no money for growth. There is no money? We produced a study from an independent institution, and fortunately the Commission also took it up. One trillion euros are lost by the tax authorities in Europe each year. If only part of that had gone to the tax authorities, we could pay back the debt or finance an economic growth project for Europe. When the media started to take up the issue and published many of these things, even Mr Cameron said that it is time to wake up and smell the coffee. Not only is it time to smell the coffee, but to drink the coffee as well. Now is the time to drink the coffee and to do something about it. Sometimes Mr Cameron may also drink coffee and, as the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We will see – Mr Cameron has been meeting Ms Merkel – what the governments do. I hope that your Prime Minister and other prime ministers will have more than just explanations and promises and will work on that."@de2

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