News & Media

Momentous EU decision to mutualise the debt means we must not go back to business as usual

19 May 2020

Statement by Ged Nash TD
Spokesperson on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform
  • Nash Welcomes Macron and Merkel’s joint proposal for the creation of an EU bond to raise €500 billion to boost the European economy

Labour Party TD for Louth,Ged Nash,  has said last night’s Franco-Germany decision represents a momentous turning point in the history of the EU

“The proposal to share the financial burden of recovery through the creation of a so-called ‘Coronabond’ – leading to lower borrowing costs for every country – and the creation of a European Recovery Fund based on grants, is a true sign of a change of direction and true solidarity at a time of crisis. 

“Labour and our colleagues in the Party of European Socialists (PES) have been pushing for such a mechanism since 2012, and with clear signs that the lessons of the last crisis are being learned and allows at EU level, we now have a real opportunity to invest in a better future without the fear. 

“Although the €500 billion amount proposed is not nearly enough – with the EU Parliament just last week demanding at least a €2 trillion EU Recovery Fund – it is the mechanism of mutualisation and the principle of grants rather than repayable loans to struggling countries struck by the coronavirus that matters most now. 

Nash continued:
“Undoubtedly, resistance will remain in some quarters, but the momentum of many must not be negated by the narrow interest of a few pandering to their selfish internal party or perceived national interests. 

But all countries must now stand united behind this proposal, for to be divided means we will inevitably and individually fall victim to the circling vultures in the international money markets who wish to pick-off the weakest member states one-by-one.
 
“The Rubicon has been crossed and there can simply be no going back to the old ways of doing business. To attempt to block this proposal now would simply be a case of cutting-off one’s nose to spite one’s face. This emergency is too big, and the cost to the EU project and our economies too great for it to fail. 

“This decision, particularly by Merkel’s Germany, shows how much has changed when compared to the last crisis.

“This message needs to be heard by FF and FG as they work to form a government together. Public investment and the deployment of resources to the productive economy and the maintenance and improvement of living standards is the key to growth, not retrenchment and austerity. 

“Any future Government must now account for this new reality in a Programme for Government and ensure funding flows to where it is needed – to create a single-tier health service, to support small and local businesses and to protect and provide new decent jobs as part of a just transition.”