Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2014-02-25-Speech-2-025-000"

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"Mr President, I have sat here this morning feeling like the odd man out. To me it is beyond parody for the Greek Finance Minister, Mr Kourkoulas, to come along here and tell us our fortune: the policies are bearing fruit, we are going to tackle unemployment. And no-one says anything! No, because, of course, everybody here is tied up with the same obsession that the euro must and will work; the obsession that you will use the crisis to build a United States of Europe. What you could have told them, Mr[nbsp ]Kourkoulas, is that, according to the respected medical journal there are now 800[nbsp ]000 people in Greece without access to welfare or medical care. You could have told them that. But even if you had, they would not have listened, so obsessed are they with building the euro. OK, a simple lesson in economics: when you have two countries that are at completely different stages of the economic cycle, one currency needs to devalue. But if those countries are pegged or tied inside the same currency and they cannot devalue, you have to devalue the country – and that is what is happening to the Mediterranean. We are devaluing the Mediterranean, and it is leaning towards Third World status. No amount of socialist state spending can mend this imbalance. It is about time, if people here cared for the citizens of Europe, particularly in the south, that we admitted the euro does not work for southern Europe and it is time we broke it up and gave countries currencies that reflect their current economic status."@en1

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