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Barroso hits out at 'insufficient' action

Wednesday 18 January 2012 - by

José Manuel Barroso - photo by European Commission
European Commission president José Manuel Barroso has hit out at eurozone leaders for coming up with inadequate measures to evenly boost growth across the continent.

In prepared remarks for a speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Barroso admitted that Europe cannot escape its sovereign debt crisis without putting in credible measures to help bolster growth.

With countries having reduced space for investment, growth must come through structural reforms, he claims, alongside targeted investment and increasing the eurozone's competitiveness.

"The commission has been saying for years what needs to be done, but let's be frank: action by the member states has been uneven and in some cases insufficient," Barroso says.

In his remarks, which will be delivered on Wednesday in a speech welcoming Denmark's presidency of the Council of the European Union, he also says that solid growth cannot be achieved until the euro area crisis is quelled.

Barroso adds that Denmark will be expected to conclude the negotiations of a new fiscal compact - the legislation that caused the UK government to veto a new EU-wide treaty.

Making no direct reference to Britain's veto, Barroso calls on the Danish presidency to play a "constructive role" in acting "as a bridge between the countries that are inside and those outside the euro area".

The fiscal compact will implement new rules requiring countries to run budget deficits of no greater than 0.5 per cent of GDP, along with increased monitoring of their budgets and an acceleration of the permanent bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Mechanism.

Additionally the 9 December agreement, which was agreed in principal by 26 of the 27 EU member states, will look to further deepen fiscal integration across the bloc. The presidents of the European Council, Eurogroup and commission will put forward a report on how this amalgamation can be achieved in March 2012.

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