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Home arrow newsitems arrow Sarkozy slams Hasty EU+€uro Enlargement Past Deals (1999-2001) cause of Debt in Greece+ €uroZone

Sarkozy slams Hasty EU+€uro Enlargement Past Deals (1999-2001) cause of Debt in Greece+ €uroZone

Parašė ACM
Friday, June 24, 2011
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*Brussels/Angelo Marcopolo/- In what looks as a 1st move to start denouncing in public what "EuroFora" has criticized since 12/2009 as the real Cause of the Debt currently hitting Greece in €uroZone, and fight against it accordingly in order to become more Efficient, French President Nicmolas Sarkozy clearly accused Past Decisions (i.e. 1999-2001) related to EU's and €uro's Enlargements, even without due preparation, to be at the origin of present problems, at the eve of a crucial week for future developments, whose Policy Choices monopolized a quite Enigmatic Press Conference by German Chancellor Angie Merkel, at the end of June 2011's EU Summit :

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- In fact, at least if EU is limited just to the Measures already decided until now, for the moment, "we haven't finished to pay for (Past) decisions to Enlarge €uro and the EU !", Sarkozy denounced in reply to questions on Greece and €uroZone.

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- Particularly for those (EU/€uroZone's Enlargements) which were Unprepared, i.e. even "without having taken all (necessary) Measures on Economic Governance, comparable Competitiveness, Fiscal Harmonization, etc", the French President added topically, obviously referring to the recent EU Measures decided (after an initial Franco-German proposal, presented together with German Chancellor Merkel : See "EuroFora"s 12/2010 and 3/2011 NewsReports from Freiburg's and Brussels' Summits), from now on, for all Future EU/€uroZone Countries.

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+ EU Commissioner in charge of Economic/Monetary issues, Oli Rehn from Finland, had also recently criticized a German "Green" MEP, during an EU Parliament Committee's debate, for his Party's Past stance during the Schroeder/Fischer "Socialist-Green" Government coalitions around 2000, accused for having been "too Laxist" on the €uro area, (at the same time that they notoriously pushed for Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid)....

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A move which fits, perfectly well, "EuroFora"s critical Analysis and denonciation of the a 1999-2001 Politico-Financial Deal, according to which, the then "Socialist"" Greek Government had been helped to win (even with a razor-thin Majority), the 4/2000 Elections, thanks to an EU Decision for Greece's too early entry into €uroZone, even without having previously made the necessary Reforms in order to absorb, or at least diminish, a big and growing Debt, which had originated in a 1980-2000 Nepotist, Clientelist and largely Corrupted Era's Mass Hiring, mainly of cronies or lackey's of some politicians, in the State, Public Sector, Media, etc, often in counter-productive posts.

In "exchange", that former "Socialist" Government had to drop all earlier objections of Greece against Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid, (f.ex. on War Threats at the Aegean Sea and Territorial Revencications, Military Occupation of the Norhern part of Cyprus, serious Human and Rights Violations, lack of Democracy, Oppression of Religious and Ethnic Minorities, etc). But, as it is well known, the Debt notoriously hidden on 1999-2001 with technical Manipulations by USA's Goldman Sachs, False "EuroStat" Numbers, etc., suddenly, "blew" up under the 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis and Speculators' Attacks.

So that now, the right remedy could not be limited just into taking Money from Production and/or from Poor People's Economies, which obviously risk to kill Growth, provoking Recession which would diminish the State's Revenues, and/or to risk dangerous social explosions by provoking a feeling of Injustice, respectively. It's much more vis a vis that Salaries' Mass of cushy-job holders and various cronies, lackeys, etc., hired by former mainly "Socialist" Governments during 1980-2000+, that actions obviously should be directed, in order to Stop Wasting precious Taxpayers' Money, reimburse eventually scandalously perceived for 2 Decades Public Funds, and avoid that this counter-productive Mass of Nepotism's Cronies, doesn' even get, now, some 2O or 30 Years more in Retirement benefits, etc. ...

I.e. a rare opportunity to join Truth, Justice and Morality together with Economifc Efficiency and Financial Economies, which could be strongly supported even by growing Popular Movements in Greece and elsewhere in the EU,  denouncing Corruption and failed politicians, even asking for Investigations in order to find and punish all those responsible for this counter-productive and Financialy catastrophic waste, without bureaucratic Time limits, nor Prescription or any other kind of Time Deadlines, until the situation is really settled. (See previous, relevant "EuroFora"s Publications, since 12/2009+).
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- But, meanwhile, "we (EU) had to deal with all that during a Global Crisis !.. inside a World where Billions circulate in an incredible Speed", and while "in Greece, Interest Rates grew + 30% in one and a half year, so that the Situation became Difficult, the Greek Government being unable to react alone", the French President observed.

- Nevertheless, in recent Economic issues, Europe succeeded to face the Global Crisis and prove its capacity to resist to all Crisis, €uro's parity to Dollar is largely Positive (1,40+), EU's Deficit is the Half of that of  USA's, and "until now, we succeeded to overcome all challenges", Sarkozy noted optimistically, observing also that, in 2 out of 3 cases, (i,e. in Ireland and in Portugal, unlike Papandreou's Greece), the Economic situation had been succesfuly brought under control, after EU reactions.
 
- "I am well aware of the Gravity of the Situation, ..but, all the times, we (EU) found a Solution, and Catastrophes were avoided, nevertheless", he added. + Moreover, "440 Billions €" are now guaranteed for facing such kind of problems, he observed, pointing at the adoption of the Permanent EU Stabilization Mechanism, officialy by this June 2011 EU Summit.
                
+ Indeed, Sarkozy's typical reaction to various attacks against EU's internal life, and on EU's Neighborhood, always was, from the start, to seize the opportunity of a Defensive Reaction in order not only to take care of the Urgencies, but also to Start Building something New in the EU, which would make it permanently more resiliant and stronger.

- "Naturally, it wasn't easy, with 27 Countries, 27 Histories, 27 Cultures, 27 Identities, etc"; the French President observed, hinting at the need to create 1 unique EU Identity; obviously indispensable for a Political Europe to exist.  

=> "There is really a (Political) Will to save the €uro" Currency, and "to ensure the Solidarity of €uroZone, which is extremely Strong", concluded Sarkozy.  
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+ Shortly afterwards, German Chancellor Angie Merkel was invited by several other Journalists to go further in details, as well as to consider various alternative solutions, and measures, according to eventual developments Next Week.

Merkel didn't have an opportunity to use exactly the same terms as Sarkozy (see supra), but at least some of her replies, left an impression that the German Chancellor might have started also to realize much more things than she said explicitly...
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 - "We (EU Summit)...have as Leaders once again very made it clear, that  will do everything to stabilize the €uro as a whole"; Merkel confirmed. + We agreed on the Permanent Stabilization Mechanism, the ESM, and we have managed to adapt the ESFSF. We are on the issue of economic Governance - that is, what is always referred to by experts as a "6 pack" - in the final meters and are in phase of agreement with the European Parliament" she noted.

+ And "We have encouraged the countries of Portugal and Ireland as well as Greece,to continue consistently the path that is dictated by the programs negotiated by the troika", she added.

- "Regarding Greece, we noted that Now the most important Laws on Privatization and Fiscal consolidation must be implemented, once these laws will be approved in the Greek Parliament", hopefully next week.


.  Once this done, EU will finalize, on the agreed "Basis",  the Basis .. for a "New Program, that will get the necessary additional funds from and Private sources, through informal and voluntary extension of the Greek current liabilities ...in order to achieve a substantial reduction of the necessary funds under the program, although of course the non-payment must be avoided. ", according to the decision earlier taken by EU Finance Ministers. ..                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
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    - Replying to a question on "the Greek Opposition Leader" Antonis Samaras (See "EuroFora"s earlier NewsReport from Brussels, yesterday), Merkel said that "there was ... an Agreement yesterday to allow the Legislative process in Parliament can begin", and, optimistically but carefully added that she was "quite confident".

    However, Merkel almost eluded a Journalist's question whether "it would be sufficient if the opposition leader said: "In Principle I agree with the Goals, but I want other Individual measures" ? 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - "My Talks with the opposition leader (Samaras) made it clear that for stability in Greece certainly it would be very Desirable if the opposition could also agree, as has happened in Ireland and how it has happened in Portugal. We have said yesterday at the EPP meeting with all clarity: the more consistent, the better for Greece, the better for the euro, and so much the better for us all"


    But, ">>>  The Greek prime minister (Papandreou) is determined to implement his ideas with a parliamentary majority in the Greek Parliament.

>>> - "Now we will see what will happen..... But again. Better a broader support" she concluded", once again giving a slight impression that this would certainly be good, but perhaps not so necessary as some say...

- "We (EU) must now proceed Step by Step with Greece", the German Chancellor added later-on, saying that she does "Not want to take position on the Talks", due to go on between EU Finance Ministers, the Troika, Private Investors and the Greek Government, preferring to see first Greece officially undertake its "obligations", "then, see the Total Sum" of Money really needed, and, afterwards examine "what can be achieved through a voluntary participation of the Private sector", later-on, etc.

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    However, Merkel appeared to approach, at least partly, a key observation by the Greek Opposition (ChristianDemocrat/EPP) Leader Samaras, (who mainly accepts, even stronger Privatizations and Economies, but asks to help Production in order to generate Resources enabling to pay back the Debt), in reply to an interesting Question on Greece's "Competitiveness" :
    
    - "EU Commission's presentation on "Europe 2020" showed that Greece was at (only) 0.53 £ of GDP on Research and Development, down at the lowest rank, flanked by Romania and Bulgaria. Do you seriously believe that there are sufficient parameters for Greek Economy's Competitiveness, in order to pull itself out of the crisis ?", another journalist critically wondered.

    - Merkel acknowledged that "it is a Fact that too Little is spent on Research and development" recently in Greece, but, in addition, "also ..that the Community funds - are not exploited - for example, from the Cohesion Fund", due to lack of Money in Greece to co-fund projects.
    
    - "Therefore, it is only right and proper and good that the (EU) Commission wants to Support Greece on this path", the German Chancellor replied, obviously referring to EU Commission President Barroso's proposal to ease the Financial Conditions allowing Athens to use the EU Funds already earmarked for Greece.

    + Concerning particularly "Research", Merkel positively stressed that, "of course, one must make so that participation in European Research projects funded by the European Research Council is indeed possible, based on Excellence criteria", and not merely on Money.

    =>"Therefore, an effort must be made at this point, of course, to allow Greece to strengthen its Competitiveness as well as possible. I am convinced that the people of Greece can certainly achieve that", Merkel pointed out. .
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    But, when she was questioned on "the Emphasis put on the Parliamentary Voting Next Week in Greece", about a proposed Long-Term Financial Package and its Conditions, "what might happen, if the vote goes against the reforms and the bailout?"; Merkel preferred to stick to "Assumptions", without "speculating" :
    
    - "I am assuming that everything is done to give to the Vote a Positive outcome, and therefore I don't want not even to Speculate", the contrary", she warned.
    
    - "I also assume that (EU) finance ministers at their meeting (shortly afterwards) on (Sunday) 3rd July, will settle all aspects, so that the solidarity aid to Greece can be solved", Merkel added, pointing at a Link between the Greek Parliament's Vote and the EU Finance Ministers' decisions.

    + Similar Caution was expressed by Merkel also on anoher Question concerning whether the forthcoming "2nd Aid Package" "will be Enough to stabilize Greece in the Long-run", or not :

    -" There is always the case that these aid packages are based on Assumptions ...about economic Growth, Revenu  assumptions, assumptions that have something to do with the World economy as a whole", etc. she observed.

    => That's why, "we must look again and again: Will things go as hey were supposed to do ?  This should be now further checked on a Quarterly basis", Merkel replied carefully. "We must look from quarter to quarter, even if the assumptions prove to be true"; she added.

     - "But I have confidence in the 3 institutions :'' in the (EU) Commission, the IMF and the ECB, to negotiate now to the best knowledge and belief, a program that has a Good Chance, and, then, to provide the Desired Results.. Now, that is negotiated to the best of my knowledge and belief of the parties', Merkel concluded, indicating anew that several decisions still remain to be taken in due course, according to forthcoming developments...
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    Meanwhile, the Official EU Summit's Conclusions "call on Finance Ministers to complete work ... to allow the necessary Decisions to be taken by Early July" (i.e. shortly after the Greek Parliament's Vote : See supra), while also warning that, "given the Length, Magnitude and Nature of the required Reforms in Greece, National Unity is a prerequisite for Success".


    However, until now, it seems to be a Fact that the only main point on which appears already to exist a large "National Unity" in Greece today (including for the Demonstrators currently filling Athens' central streets), is  particularly, the Need to Fight against Corruption in the Public Sector, i.e., precisely a key point according to "EuroFora"s above mentioned analysis. (See supra)...

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    At any case, "€uro area Heads of State or Government reiterate their Commitment to do whatever is necessary to ensure the Stability of the €uro area as a whole".


    - "The Recovery in the €uro area is Well on Track; and has reached a Sustainable path of Solid Growth", EU leaders stressed. "The €uro is based on Sound Fundamentals, and we are deeply Satisfied with the track record of Price Stability achieved Since the Inception of the €uro", they remind.

**

(NDLR : DraftNews, as already send earlier to "EuroFora"'s Subscribers/Donors. A complete and more accurate Final Public Version is due asap).

***
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    - "Europe must be liberated from this undermining "wooden talk" of a "unique thought" which hampers democratic debates", stressed incoming EU Chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking to Journalists after his official meeting with EU Commission's President, Jose Barroso, at Elysee Palace in Paris

    - "It's precisely because there are not enough Debates, that EU hasn't managed yet to make it clear to European citizens what is really at stake", he added, in an obvious reference to the latest Irish "No" in 2008, after a long series of similar, unprecedented events, from the 1st Majority Abstention to EU Parliament's Elections in 1999, repeated in 2004, to the Dutch and French "No" in 2005, etc.


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          In fact, "there is no time to lose for Europe, and that's why we decided to start the French EU Presidency right away, from the first day", he explained, on France's exceptional choice to schedule the usual meeting with EU Commission from the 1st day of the 1st month, instead of the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th or even 10th or 11th, as it had been done by others in the Past..    


    - "This is not an easy period, but we shall act with determination, while also listening to Citizens' views", he promised.

    Sarkozy's move came shortly before his opening Speech, next week in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, for the first Public Debate on the Priorities of the French EU Presidency (July - December 2008), and that's one of the reasons for which he significantly opened his EU Council's Chairmanship by welcoming at Elysee palace EU Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert Poettering at first..

    The incoming EU Chairman was replying to Press Questions about rumours that controversial British EU Commissioner on Trade, Mandelson, was alone to drop an invitation to have a working Diner at Elysee palace, together with all other EU Commissioners and the French Government, only because he would have been upset for some critical points made earlier by President Sarkozy in defense of European Agriculture vis-a-vis its Foreign competitors.

    But, as smiling Sarkozy played down Mandelson's reported refusal to debate, saying that he had to visit Marseille for a Ministerial meeting on Trade the next morning, and that "all our British friends are always welcome to taste a nice diner" in France, perhaps at another occasion..

    - "It's urgent to win anew the trust of the People" : Lately, "the European ideal lost its momentum. Since several years, whenever Citizens are questioned on Europe, they react with reserves : They even have .. a tendency to reply "NO".. After this 3rd "No" of a People in some years, there is an Urgency to convince", added French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, after a meeting earlier the same day of all Ministers with EU Commissioners, followed by an interview with Barroso

    "According to recent Polls, only 30% of French people believe that the European construction is a source of hope. It's only a poll, but we all now quite well, that, since 2005, it's dangerous to neglect these alarming signals, as it would be dangerous to treat with contempt the Irish "No", Fillon warned.

    "We all have a common duty to prove to the European Citizens who have doubts, that EU is more useful, more necessary, than ever" : And "that EU can take decisions needed in order to respond to European or Global challenges", the Prime Minister concluded.

    - "We believe, together with President Sarkozy, that EU should open debates on all issues of direct, concrete interest to Citizens", confirmed later to EuroFora the Head of France's governing party (UMP), Patrick Devedjan, after his speech to the European People's party (EPP) Study Days in Paris (2 - 4 July 2008).

    He didn't deny that one of them is Turkey : - "Public Opinion in France is very much unfavorable to Turkey's EU bid, and President Sarkozy has said that several times", he told EuroFora.

    From European Central Bank's controversial policies on Euro's value, to EU Enlargement Strategy, etc., issues of obvious importance to EU Citizens will be plenty, next week in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, before President Sarkozy launches the debates on EU 2008 French chairmanship's priorities on Thursday.

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