Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2015-11-11-Speech-1-056-000"

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"Mr President, for all the grand talk about investment and structural reform, the truth is this: that the European Union countries in general have experienced another year of paltry growth and are failing to tackle mass unemployment and, particularly, sky-high youth unemployment. To the extent that the vista ahead is any less bleak, the prime cause is not a sound basis for long-term progress; it is the belated application of quantitative easing across the euro area and the accompanying weakening of the euro. A few years ago one pound sterling was worth only EUR 1.10. Now it is worth EUR 1.40, and yet this exchange rate will surely merely further demonstrate the folly of holding so many divergent economies within a single currency. A somewhat weaker euro will tend to increase trade surpluses in Germany, while it will not be sufficient to stimulate recovery in Greece. After 15 years of failure, it is surely not too early for supporters of the euro to admit it has been a calamity. It has failed for precisely the reasons we sceptics forecast. Weaker economies on lower productivity paths have had economic activity sucked out of them while stuck in a fixed exchange rate with Germany. Artificially cheap money, loaned under the misapprehension that the might of Germany stood behind the borrowings of others, has destabilised economies across the euro area. Yet now you seem to want to integrate further to create a common treasury which will remove tax and spending decisions from national democratic control, and yet the productivity path of the southern periphery will still not match that of Germany. The southern countries lack the scale, the brands, the R&D budgets, the technical education, the smooth industrial relations, the communications infrastructure and the exceptional cultural reverence for work and organisation of Germany. You will need enormous and permanent transfer payments to compensate the weaker parts for living in this straitjacket, and yet the levels of social solidarity required for that will not be forthcoming. You will, I am afraid, have reawakened the latent national hostilities you hoped to banish and locked these countries into an age of economic stagnation. I am full of sorrow that you cannot see the folly of your ways."@en1

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