PES Ministers meet prior to ECOFIN meeting
The Finance Ministers of the Party of European Socialists discussed the crucial negotiations on Greece and stated that Greece has to stay in the Eurozone. They also welcomed the agreement reached on the European Fund for Strategic Investment and called for its swift implementation. The EFSI was something long pushed for by the Party of European Socialists. That, together with the European Commission’s plan to create an integrated capital market in Europe and use the financial sector to gain resources to invest in SMEs and the real economy, was discussed by Finance Ministers of the Party of European Socialists today in Luxembourg. They were meeting prior to the ECOFIN Council to coordinate on EU financial and economic issues.
Lithuanian Finance Minister and Chair of the PES ECOFIN Ministers network Rimantas Sadzius stated: "Europe is facing one of the greatest challenges in its history. The Eurozone will thrive only if it remains united, and we are working hard to ensure that it does. Greece’s future is in the Eurozone with the Euro. Too many Europeans have suffered from the crisis, we are fighting for granting a better future for all, with a strong economy and a durable welfare state."
Rimantas Sadzius added: "Europe needs to move away from the austerity-only policies of the past. Europe needs growth and investment, so we welcome the Commission’s plan for a “Capital Markets Union” that can improve access to finance for people and businesses. However this plan will only be a success if we can ensure that it will serve the needs of people and SMEs - not just the financial sector and profit accumulation for the few. The financial crisis has taught us that the financial sector needs to be strongly regulated and monitored in order to function effectively. Transparency is essential. Our aim is to create an environment that facilitates access to credit without impinging on the rights of citizens.
Europe is taking concrete steps towards investing in its people and its businesses. The European Fund for Strategic Investment is the cornerstone of this effort. It will start financing investment projects as early as mid-September. This is a breakthrough for Europe and a major achievement of our political family. Europe is turning the page away from austerity and moving to more sustainable investment. The activation of the plan should see growth stimulated and new jobs created. This is what Europe, and its citizens need."
The meeting also attended French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, Maltese Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, Romanian Finance Minister Eugen Orlando Teodorovici, Swedish Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Slovakian State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance Ivan Lesay, Swedish State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance Karolina Ekholm, European Commissioner for Economic Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici, Vice President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament Maria Joao Rodrigues, Head of EU Policy Unit of the PES Constantin Kourkoulas.