EU leaders' summit on economic governance

 @ibtimes on June 17 2010 11:49 AM

The following are comments by European Union leaders and other officials on Thursday in Brussels, where they were holding a summit to discuss economic governance.

EU PRESIDENT HERMAN VAN ROMPUY

We agreed that the so-called stress tests of the banks will be published at the latest in the second half of July.

BELGIAN CARETAKER PRIME MINISTER YVES LETERME

Asked whether he's in favour of bank levy:

Yes I am in favour of banks being asked to participate in the financing of the efforts we have made to save their existence.

AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR WERNER FAYMANN

On rating agencies:

We need our own rating agencies. Whether it is called an economic government or not, what is more important is what's in it rather than what's on the cover. Countries will be able to keep their taxation autonomy. And in this respect, we are not talking about an economic government but about coordination. I think this will occupy us for some time to come. It's easy to say fast economic governance but harder to introduce it.

On bank levy:

I expect that this (bank tax) will be pushed forward on an international level. I also believe that it can happen on a European level. I want to push it through on a European level but there are many countries that do not think this.

On EU treaty change;

The question is what would be in the new treaties. If they were to include that someone's political vote could be taken away on economic questions, then I would not be in favour. It would be better to push transparency.

POLISH PRIME MINISTER DONALD TUSK

One of the main issues for the Polish delegation is not to allow the euro zone to become a separate club of states.

The EU does not need new institutions. It needs to make the current institutions more effective.

It seems that this point of view is now shared by the majority of countries.

I don't think that pressure from France is bringing any results.

The very idea of making banks and other financial institutions take responsibility for crises is a sensible one. We will work with our partners on anti-crisis security mechanisms that will be financed by the banks.

CZECH PRIME MINISTER JAN FISCHER

Referring to wording of draft on bank levy:

The text is too rigid. We are not happy with it.

SWEDISH PRIME MINISTER FREDRIK REINFELDT

On bank stress tests:

We have been asking for increased transparency all the time. We think (it is) better with transparency than nervous speculations about what kind of figures we have not seen, so therefore we welcome if we can have a better understanding and common position on openness when it comes to stress tests on banks, but I know that there are some differences in the positions sometimes regarding this.

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL

We will prepare for the G20 and G8 meetings so that we can go with as united a European position as possible that also covers a bank levy and the taxation of financial markets. Germany and France, for example, are in favour of calling more on those who caused the crisis to pay up.

EUROGROUP CHAIRMAN JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER

Asked by reporters whether the results of bank stress tests should be made public, he replied: Yes.

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON

I welcome his (European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's) support for subsidiarity, his support for deregulation, and I think what he has just said about the importance of getting our public finances in order, that there can be no growth without confidence and that getting our public finances in order is key to confidence, is absolutely right.

And I very much agree with what you have just said, that we should be focusing on the issues of substance and not on institutional reform. That was music to my ears.

You'll see Britain playing a very positive, a very engaged, a very active role in the European Union and at this European Council. My ministers have already been doing that at all different European Council meetings and we do have a very strong and positive agenda -- an agenda about dealing with deficits as we are doing in our own country, and we'll be taking further action next week in our budget, and a very positive agenda in terms of Europe on the world stage in terms of making sure that we have a strong package of sanctions against Iran, something that is going to be dealt with today and we believe is incredibly important.

We of course always defend our national interests as others do, and our national red lines, but we know how important it is that there is in Europe growth and confidence and that, I think, is the most important issue on the agenda.

We're not a member of the euro, nor are we going to become a member of the euro, but a strong, successful Euro zone is vital for Britain's national interests.

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