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Sant: Eurozone rules benefit stronger countries, not weaker states

Labour MEP says eurozone rules are giving an automatic advantage to stronger member states, with the fundamental problem being a lack of a political will to accept the growing divergences within the eurozone

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
21 February 2017, 12:08pm
Greece has been one of the victoms of the eurozone’s strict rules applying a one-size-fits-all model on country deficits and debt
Greece has been one of the victoms of the eurozone’s strict rules applying a one-size-fits-all model on country deficits and debt
Former Prime Minister Alfred Sant has said that Eurozone rules are giving an automatic advantage to stronger member states, with the fundamental problem being a lack of a political will to accept the growing divergences within the eurozone.

“These divergences have to be first of all recognised and corrected through a new political agreement,” Sant said during an explanation of his vote on the eurozone’s budgetary capacity, which is part of a series of debates on the future of Europe.

“The report does not make any reference to the will for a new political agreement on removing the existing economic divergencies between the European centre and its peripheries. The fundamental problem is not the Eurozone design, though this needs to be considered.

“Divergences have resulted, and are growing, due to a too fast and blinkered development of the eurozone project, on the back of the EU’s soft power and in disregard of the impact of globalisation. Such a situation can only be corrected though political action not through the addition of new rules to the system.”

Sant said that although being technically insightful, the budgetary capacity additions proposed by rapporteurs in a report that was passed by MEPs, would serve to enhance divergences, not reduce them, in the absence of a new political agreement. “Unfortunately the current exercise amounts to one in which the cart is being put before the horse. I cannot support it,” Sant said, voting against alongside 255 MEPs. 340 voted in favour and 68 abstained.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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