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EU summit (Econ and Egypt) - EU leaders continue foot dragging on Egypt; Blinkered 'pact' the wrong answer on economic governance


07 Feb 2011


Global Europe

The EU summit today adopted conclusions on the situation in Egypt. The Greens criticised the failure of EU leaders to take a decisive stance on Egypt and clearly call for an immediate end to the Mubarak regime. Commenting on the outcome of the summit on Egypt, Greens/EFA co-president Dany Cohn-Bendit said:


"Rather than taking a firm and decisive stance on Egypt and the need for an immediate end to the Mubarak regime, the summit continued the foot-dragging that has become the hallmark of EU foreign policy. It is clear to all observers that a peaceful democratic transition, which the Egyptian people clearly want, will not be possible so long as Mubarak remains in power and continues to violently repress the protests. Sadly, EU leaders remain too cowardly, preferring to sit on the fence, rather than clearly supporting the protesters' will for a democratic transformation. It is high time that the EU ended its sickening softly-softly diplomacy with regard to dictators in Europe's neighbourhood.”


A Franco-German 'pact for competitiveness' aimed at accompanying the EU's economic rescue package was presented and discussed by EU leaders at today's summit. The Greens hit out at the pact as being blinkered and failing to give a meaningful common EU response on economic governance. Speaking after the summit, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said:


"The 'competitiveness pact' presented today is nationally blinkered and fails to give a meaningful common EU response on economic governance. What is needed is a truly European system of governance; what the pact offers is an intergovernmental mish-mash in which the European interest and the EU institutions are sidelined.


"This pact fails to address the full spectrum of economic imbalances in the Eurozone by putting the blame on weaker member states only. It ignores crucial imbalances, such as Germany's low-wage policy and its surplus, which also damage the Eurozone. As such, it does not provide the response we need.


"The Greens welcome the proposals to push ahead with a common consolidated tax base however. Tackling tax dumping must play a central role in any governance package, and tax harmonisation - including setting minimum rates for corporate tax - are crucial to this end."
Richard More O'Ferrall,
Press and media officer, Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament,
Ph. +32 477443842


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