Van Rompuy tipped to chair new ’economic government’
2011-08-18 0:00

From: EUObserver.com

Twice-yearly meetings of the leaders of the 17 single currency states are to become the "cornerstone" of the new economic government of the eurozone, the leaders of France and Germany have said.

In a five-page letter to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy following their meeting on Tuesday (16 August) in Paris, Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel say the summits "will take place twice a year and, if necessary, extraordinary meetings will be called."


Herman Van Rompuy (left) pictured with French president Nicolas Sarkozy (consilium.europa.eu)

The gatherings should be used to make sure the euro’s Stability Pact is being adhered to, "discuss any difficulties encountered by certain member states and take the necessary decisions to prevent crises."

The formalisation of the top-level meetings - initially opposed by Berlin - is likely to reignite debate about the merits of deepening the political gap between those sharing the euro and the 10 member states outside the eurozone.

It may also raise questions about the fragile balance of power between the European Commission and member states when it comes to overseeing economic governance, normally a prerogative of Brussels.

More of President Van Rompuy?
Van Rompuy, the former Belgian premier currently in charge of the regular meetings of all 27 leaders, is also put forward as a candidate to be the first elected "president" of the economic government on a two and a half year mandate.

"We have expressed the wish that you could assume this post," the French and German leaders wrote.

The letter, which has been criticised for putting forward long term proposals rather than tackling the eurozone debt crisis with immediate solutions, underlines that the euro is the "foundation of our economic success and the symbol of the political unification of our continent."

Among its concrete points, the letter calls on eurozone countries to ratify "by the end of the month of September" rules that would give new bond-buying powers to the euro area’s bailout fund.

The timetable, already questioned by leading German politicians, is being pushed by the European Central Bank, which stepped into the breach last week with €22 billion to buy Italian and Spanish bonds in a bid to drive down borrowing costs.

Berlin and Paris also recommend that in future countries that do not take steps to correct their excessive deficits should have funds from the EU’s structural and cohesion funds suspended.

Reactions mixed
While Germany and France presented a united front and said it is their “historic mission” to protect the euro, reactions to their emergency meeting have been mixed.

Many have expressed disappointment that there was no pledge to create a eurobond - a move to mutualise the eurozone’s debt that would lower the borrowing cost for struggling euro countries but which Germany fears will lead to a rise in the price of its own government debt.

"The two leaders have finally woken up to some good ideas, such as a tax on financial transactions. But they have ignored solutions that offer real hope, such as the introduction of eurobonds," said Martin Schulz, leader of the socialists in the European Parliament.

He condemned the idea of holding just two meetings of eurozone leaders a year as "wholly inadequate".

Guy Verhofstadt, head of the liberals in the parliament, said it was "too little too late." He added: "It is a quantum step towards a federal union that is needed if the euro is to be saved. [Tuesday’s] announcements are sadly well short of the mark."

Read the full article at: euobserver.com



Related Articles
Van Rompuy: Europeans too depressed to be innovative (resign and make them happy, Herman ;P )
Nigel Farage: Van Rompuy Cozied with Gaddafi in December
Herman Van Rompuy announces a new "reverse majority rule" to get around the national veto
EU President Herman Van Rompuy called Clown by Sister Christine
Herman Van Rompuy: today the EU, tomorrow the world!
Herman Van Rompuy Named EU President
Nigel Farage: "Bombings, bailouts - what on earth are we doing?"
Nigel Farage: "Just who the hell do you think you are?" (Video)
Nigel Farage : EU Must Die (Video)


Latest News from our Front Page

Galaxy Poll: 86 per cent of Australians want childhood vaccination to be compulsory?
2015-04-17 23:33
Australians want Prime Minister Tony Abbott to make childhood vaccination compulsory and close loopholes that allow vaccine refusers to put all children at risk. An exclusive national Galaxy poll commissioned by The Sunday Telegraph has revealed overwhelming support to ensure every child is vaccinated. The highest support for compulsory jabs is in South Australia, where 90 per cent support the call. The poll ...
Eye in the sky: Local police now using drones to spy on citizens
2015-04-17 22:09
The Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office is doing something that no other agency in Harris County is believed to have done yet: Use drones to help fight crime. It's an eye in the sky for law enforcement, without giving up the element of surprise. "It could absolutely save lives," says Constable Alan Rosen. Rosen says the agency's two new $1,200 drones, which ...
New Zealander of the Year: refuse vaccines, lose money
2015-04-17 22:47
Following in the footsteps of Australia, 2014 New Zealander of the Year, Dr. Lance O’Sullivan, wants to punish people who don’t get vaccinated. The New Zealand Herald (4/15) reports: “A leading New Zealand doctor has called on the Government to follow Australia’s example to cut child welfare payments to families who do not vaccinate their children, saying the policy would help protect ...
Iris Scanner Identifies a Person 40 Feet Away
2015-04-17 22:20
Police traffic stops are in the news again, tragically, sparking a new round of discussion on whether and how to outfit police with cameras and other technology. For several years now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab Biometrics Center have been testing an iris recognition system that can be used to identify subjects at a range of up to 40 feet. Like ...
Yes, You Can Catch Insanity
2015-04-17 22:29
One day in March 2010, Isak McCune started clearing his throat with a forceful, violent sound. The New Hampshire toddler was 3, with a Beatles mop of blonde hair and a cuddly, loving personality. His parents had no idea where the guttural tic came from. They figured it was springtime allergies. Soon after, Isak began to scream as if in pain ...
More News »