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Closer EU integration 'urgent' Barroso warns


brussels bureau

Closer EU integration 'urgent' Barroso warns

Europe urgently needs closer fiscal and political union if it hopes to solve its economic problems, Jose Manuel Barroso has warned.

The European Commission chief made the plea in Strasbourg ahead of a major EU summit later this month.

“I will urge the European Council to take concrete commitments towards a fully developed economic and monetary union,” Barroso said.

In addition, Barroso backed greater oversight of the bloc’s banking sector, with plans for a so called, ‘banking union’. His demand for deeper EU wide integration came as MEPs discussed strengthening budgetary discipline. Those still need to be fine tuned. Nevertheless, some in Strasbourg feel the only way out of the current economic crisis is debt mutualisation, known simply as eurobonds.

‘‘Germany knows that it has to decide. Either we mutualise Europe’s debts and the euro is saved, or if Germany doesn’t want to take this step, then there is a possibility that the euro will disappear. And if the euro does disappear, who will be the first victim? That would be Germany’s economy,’‘ the parliament’s liberal group leader Guy Verhofstadt said.

The on-going debate over how to solve Europe’s economic problems comes only days before Greece prepares to go to the polls for a second general election within the space of six weeks.

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