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SPEECH/10/132

José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Statement at the press conference following the first day of the Spring European Council

Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED

European Council

Brussels, 25 March 2010

I am extremely happy that we have reached this deal on Greece and on the stability of the euro.

Today is the 25th of March. 25th of March 1957 was the official birth of the European Community. 25th of March is also the National day of Greece, so I am really happy that we can commemorate in such a way both Greece and the European Community, the European Union.

As you know, I have been pushing for this kind of solution for some time, and thanks to the leadership of Herman van Rompuy and commitment of all the euro area Member states, we now have this solution. We have shown that where there is a will there is a way. And it is the European way.

We have solved this in the European family, in the euro area. This is the European coordinated approach with the participation of the IMF. I think that is the right decision at this time to face what is an exceptional problem that we have in one of our Member States and member of the euro area, considering also the implications it could have for the stability of our economic and monetary union.

As we had advocated, the triggering of the mechanism and the implementation of conditionality is to be carried out by the EU institutions.

This mechanism is not a substitute for financial market discipline but offers a solid safety net for Greece and provides stability for the Euro-zone.

These elements are in full consistency with the proposals I had put forward. And I am very happy to say that today the Heads of State and Government of the Euro area have delivered on the promise made on 11 February. So I really welcome this important decision today.

Ce soir, nous avons discuté l'avenir de nos économies à moyen terme. En nous préparant aujourd'hui aux enjeux de demain, nous consolidons nos économies pour éviter de nouvelles crises et garantir à nos citoyens un avenir plus prospère.

Je me réjouis tout particulièrement du large soutien à la stratégie Europe 2020 que la Commission a proposée, notamment l'idée qu'on doit se concentrer sur la croissance, pour créer de nouvelles sources de croissance afin de faire face aux problèmes de la potentielle croissance en Europe qui a été très affectée par la crise financière. Mais nous ne sommes pas en faveur de n'importe quel type de croissance mais pour une croissance plus soutenable, plus inclusive et intelligente.

Nos priorités sont claires. Nous devons maintenant mettre en œuvre notre agenda commun. La Commission viendra rapidement avec des propositions concrètes pour décliner aussi au niveau national les objectifs que j'espère nous allons approuver demain. Ce sera un travail interactif, entre Commission et États membres.

Nous devons continuer de travailler ensemble d'ici le Conseil européen de juin, notamment pour définir ces objectifs. Je suis très satisfait du sens de notre discussion d'aujourd'hui.

Je peux vous dire, très sincèrement, que c'était un très bon 25 mars.


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