EU Calls for Safeguarding Manufacturers from Looming Recession
Brussels, Belgium (GroundReport) – According to published reports, leaders of the European Union meeting in Brussels Thursday called for action protecting European manufacturers from a looming recession.
In addition, the union's 27 bloc members agreed to reach an agreement on a climate change deal by the end of the year,.
In a two-day summit, European Union ministers said they would work with other developing nations, including the U.S., to implement a real reform of the global financial system. The international system would provide more cross-border oversight, transparency, and crisis management, Financial Times reported.
The European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are scheduled to hold discussions with President George W. Bush about reconstructing the global financial architecture. The financial revampment is slated to include more powers for the International Monetary Fund, say reports.
Sarkozy urged other ministers to take up the cause of European manufacturers. He was quoted as saying by Financial Times, “If we had a co-ordinated response to the financial crisis in Europe, shouldn’t we have a co-ordinated response to the economic crisis in Europe?”
Italy's premier, Silvio Berlusconi, eagerly supported the call for assistance, citing a $25 billion aid package by the U.S. Congress to U.S. carmakers: “Since the US is taking massive steps to support its auto companies, it shouldn’t be a scandal if some EU states find it necessary to give support to their own,” Berlusconi said in an online report by the Financial Times.
Carmakers in Europe are demanding for 40 billion Euros, the equivalent of $53.6 billion, in loans. This aid package is in part to compensate for U.S aid package and to meet the costs stemming from the EU fuel emission standards.
In a final report at the summit, EU ministers requested the European Commission to come up with solutions “to preserve the international competitiveness of European industry” by the end of the year, reports ft.com.
The communique is a reflection of the position by some EU members such as Germany, France, Italy and others that an aid package to the European financial sector to prevent an economic collapse might leave European manufacturers staggering.
A call for a fiscal boost to manufacturers across Europe may have been the intention of an earlier draft proposed by EU members. However, ministers from U.K quickly dispelled the French-inspired phrase that alluded to “necessary steps to react to the slowdown in demand.”
Britain's foreign secretary, David Miliband, underscored the need to maintain EU state aid regulations in the development of policies.
One UK official was quoted as saying, “I think we’d rather stick to the financial sector,” reports ft.com.
Tags: Business , Credit Crisis
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