Mr President, enough time has passed since the current crisis started for a vigilant observer to note that the crisis resolution remedies are not working. Much energy and time was lost by our EU institutions in devising ways to prevent a sovereign debt crisis from occurring again, rather than addressing the more immediate present and clear danger by a proper crisis resolution mechanism.
It is unfortunate that the two largest countries have ignored the early advice given in Parliament by some groups, including ours, that fiscal austerity on its own cannot by itself get us out of our predicament. While it is obvious that the current medicine is not doing any good, the reaction to this state of affairs is unfortunately not to do the logical thing and change the medicine, but to give more of it on the pretext that the dose is not strong enough.
This report on Eurobonds is one important plea for sanity. It is a direct constructive proposal for a change to the current effective euro zone architecture. It is an opportunity for the euro zone to show that it is not just offering a knee-jerk solution to the latest downgrade, but clear-headed thinking. It is not a total cure, but it should be seen as a building block to the already set foundation of a European stability mechanism.
Of course we cannot introduce a Eurobond in a matter of weeks or even months. The most we can do – and the aim of our resolution based on the Green Paper goes in that direction – is to issue a credible statement of intent, thus setting in motion a change of legal events to bring about the needed changes. But in doing so we would be strengthening the case for bestowing the EFSF-ESM with the much-needed banking licence which will supplement the ECB’s successful purchasing exercise at the end of last year. The contagion is spreading and it has started eating at the core. Let us stop it before it is too late.
– Tuesday, 14th February 2012