Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2015-03-11-Speech-3-136-000"

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"Mr President, I start by congratulating Mr Rosati, our rapporteur on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, for his fine work. I thank our shadow rapporteurs for their valuable inputs. The analysis and conclusions on the annual growth survey are well in line with the parameters of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). However, I must register some unease at aspects of our proceedings. As of now we lack a real understanding as to why the economic performance of national economies has remained so dull, indeed so stagnant. Similarly, we cannot grasp the real reason why the investment gap in the eurozone has remained so significant. True, we see glimmers of growth now and we wish for the best. Rightly, much emphasis is being placed on the flexibility that is presently being read into SGP rules. Over—rigid application of these rules has been counterproductive. Let us hope that flexibility will be applied equally and fairly to all economies and not just the bigger ones. So let me repeat that structural reforms are necessary but, as I said elsewhere, they should not mean an erosion of the European social model. Where structural reforms refer to elimination of monopolies, freer access to the provision of services, curtailment and digitalisation of government bureaucracy, incentivising those who produce, streamlining public procurement practices and the encouragement of public-private partnerships, such reforms should be given full support. Yet, it seems to me that we still do not have a viable approach to tackle regional and national divergences within the eurozone, and they have been increasing. I am uneasy because, having a 19—economy system, working to the model of a quasi—balance in all national budgets is not axiomatically the optimal way to run a currency area. Yes, we have jargon-laden discourse to correct for so-called macroeconomic imbalances, but there is a vagueness about how to implement corrective action on this basis. There still is no valid reply to the question: are country—specific recommendations designed to satisfy eurozone or national priorities? Therefore, I am not too surprised that so many CSRs are ignored by national parliaments and governments. In the absence of a central treasury to regulate transfers between centre and periphery, much of the exercise that we are carrying out now could be compared to that of a circus performer on a high rope, juggling with 19 balls. Of course, in order to succeed, such a juggling operation needs commitment, discipline and a high level of competence."@mt2

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