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Reactions to EU summit in Brussels


brussels bureau

Reactions to EU summit in Brussels

Economic concerns are dominating the latest EU summit in Brussels, but some commentators, analysts and politicians are looking beyond headline issues, such as banking union, for other ways to solve the crisis.

“Political union can not wait and it will be necessary to do this, otherwise the crisis will continue. I don’t think this crisis can be overcome only by monetary means, that is, intervention from the European Central Bank,” MEP and Liberal leader
Guy Verhofstadt told euronews.

As governments in Spain, Greece and Portugal try to slash their budgets and reduce their deficits further, some, like Sony Kapoor of Re-Define Think Tank, are questioning if this focus on the fiscal is working.

“The IMF has just recently highlighted, austerity is pushing us in a downward spiral, and particularly with the social unrest enrupting in Greece once again, in Portugal now, and of course the big question of secessionist tendancies, for example Catalunia in Spain.

“These are all starting to show that the social fabric, and the political fabric, even within the member states themselves, is starting to fray,” said Kapoor.

The British line is one of avoiding handing over more economic control or money to Brussels, especially at a time when the government continues to try to cut the deficit.

The belt-tightening should begin with the EU itself, according to MEP from the UK’s Conservative Party Martin Callanan: “We think that at a time of austerity across Europe when EU is itself forcing cuts on public administrations in Europe, for them to ask for an increased budget makes no sense.

“We would like to see the austerity to start in the European Union (budget), as well in the member states,” added Callanan.

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