Welcome to the blackmail zone...(speech)

Mr President,


Welcome to the blackmail zone,

Better known as the euro zone,

But now officially the 'no growth zone'.


The latest European summit was appalling. What we saw was - as the German press wrote - a 'brutal act of blackmail'.

Apparently, European integration is all about money, while prostituting the word solidarity. Mr Monti was perceived acting as a mob leader to get at easy money. Blackmailing Germany is not difficult. Just refer to the past, and their knees will weaken.

The ESM Treaty was changed, although many national parliaments had ratified it. What is now the applicable law? Nobody knows. The ESM Treaty is not a Treaty, but just a piece of paper, perhaps waiting for the shredder.

Een vodje papier meneer Van Rompuy, U bent de President van vodjes papier. You are the scrap paper President!

Mr Monti made a fatal mistake. He galvanised a sentiment of resentment in Northern Europe. People feel fooled, robbed and they will resist. Look at Finland and The Netherlands.

In Mediterranean Europe he spread the feeling that there is access to more money. So, the pressure for reform will drop and people will say: why should we suffer when fresh money is on the way.

The only solution is regaining competiveness. There is no substitute, like a shortcut to a transfer union. The more you push for a transfer union, the sooner the euro zone will break up. And, unfortunately, Mr Monti is paving the way.

And Mr President, where are the German Christian Democrats in the room? There is not a single member of the CDU and CSU present, although they should stand up for their people. But they stay away. That is telling, I hope the German press picks it up.

Press release: ECB turned into European Santa Claus Bank

Under the Chairmanship of Mario Draghi and with the explicit support by the board member in charge market operation, Monsieur Benoit Coeuré, ECB has again offered the whole banking sector huge amounts of liquidity at money market conditions for a period of 3 years. This discretionary monetary generosity goes hand in hand with the softening of requirements for collaterals provided  by banks to the Eurosystem. Additionally certain national central  banks authorize themselves to hand out further credit enhancements in exchange for collaterals of less quality as in the remaining Euro-System.

Thus ECB is setting incentives for banks particularly in ailing member states of the Eurozone to origninate securities for the only sake of being funded by the Euroystems at highly privileged conditions.

What looks at first glance as a measure of stabilsation is not only  contrary to Articles 123-124 of the Treaty organising the Functionning of the European Union but incenses the whole banking sector to invest in trading sovereign debt instead of providing credit for industry and commerce.

I have asked Professor Kerber from Berlin University for legal advice on how to bring ECB back to its unique role of conducting monetary policy instead of distorting competition between banks and  abandoning the single list requirements for collaterals in exchange of credit lines from ECB.


Situation in the Mediterranean, in particular in Tunisia and Egypt

Madam President, everything I wanted to say has in fact already been said, so I will limit myself to one question to the High Representative.

Today Mr Blair, the former British Prime Minister, whom you probably know, had a lot of praise for the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Today on CNN he said, ‘Mubarak is immensely courageous and a force for good’. Mr Blair also warns against a rush to elections in Egypt.

Now Mr Blair is currently envoy in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which is supported by the European Union. What do you think about the statements of Tony Blair?

Brussels, 2 February 2011