President Hollande outlines efforts to tackle Euro Area crisis [fr]
Preliminary remarks by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, at his press conference (excerpts)
Paris, 13 November 2012
A weakened France would mean a powerless Europe. But we’re living through much more than a crisis: we’re experiencing a change in the world.
That’s why, in the past six months, I’ve made decisions, and I’m sticking by them without being diverted elsewhere, because these choices are in line with my principles, my commitments and, above all, the interests of France. (…)
I’ve devoted all my energy since 15 May to getting the Euro Area out of the crisis it was plunged into three years ago. The key moment was the European Council of 28 and 29 June, with the growth compact and the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism. Those decisions enabled the European Central Bank to adopt a new intervention doctrine on 6 September, laying the foundations for a solution to the public debt crisis. This new situation persuaded me to get the European Fiscal Compact adopted by Parliament. It was in France and Europe’s interest. The second step was taken on 18 October, when we decided on banking union – that is, banking supervision and the principle of a direct recapitalization of the banks.
At the same time, I was finally able to get 11 European countries to adopt the financial transaction tax. It signals the regaining of political control over finance and releases new financing for development.
But we haven’t yet finished.
Greece, who has once again just passed a plan to reduce her deficits, is still waiting to receive the support from Europe and the IMF she was promised. I think that, beyond finalizing the details of the financial arrangements which still need to be clarified, she is entitled to it.
Because I set myself the target of resolving by the end of the year the nagging issues facing the Euro Area.
This is essential in order to loosen the stranglehold over the countries which have begun painful structural adjustment plans.
It’s through solidarity, not endless austerity, that the urgent deficit-reduction targets will be attained. (…)./.