Extracts from the joint debate on the ECB annual report and the annual statement on euro area, plenary session of the EP
End production: 25/03/2010 First transmission: 25/03/2010
On 25 March 2010, Olli Rehn, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs, and Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank, took part in a plenary session of the European Parliament, in Strasbourg. Olli Rehn, Jean-Claude Trichet, and Members of the EP, debated on the ECB annual report and on the annual statement on euro area.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Parliament, in Strasbourg
||Soundbite by Edward Scicluna, Member of the EP and Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (in ENGLISH): the ECB additional role during the crisis has been to expand the liquidity provisions to the use of non standard measures, without such means of financial support many financial institutions holding the savings and pensions of many EU citizens would undoubtedly have collapsed; of course one could suggest that the ECB interest rates cuts were not as radical as of those taken by the Federal US Reserve Bank or those taken of the Bank of England.
The crisis had demonstrated that markets left unregulated do not always self correct and are prone to systemic risks and it is important to support and complete the comprehensive settled reforms to the financial architecture in the EU and in particular the establishment of an EU systemic risk board, a body designed to act as a watch dog (2 shots)
||Soundbite by Sven Giegold, Member of the EP (in GERMAN) saying that the reports message is clear here, they need to come back to the requirements laid out in the growth and stability pact, they can not allow children and grandchildren to take the debt up; but it is also clear in the report that the rules in the ECB are not sufficient, but that the Euro zone has to take the necessary measures to coordinate better; in other words it is important to try to level the imbalances in the Euro zone and to try to coordinate monetary and fiscal policy.
Firstly, they need effective instruments for economical coordination, secondly their structural dependency on external resources in the Euro zone has to come to an end when oil and resource prices increase again, which is already happening and they are emerging towards recession; it can not be acceptable that the financial markets come out of the crisis without proper regulation (2 shots)
||Soundbite by Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank (in ENGLISH): we do not wish to breed dependency that is the reason why in December we began to gradually phase out some of our extraordinary liquidity measures taking into account improvements in financial markets; in particular we put back the number of frequency and the maturity of longer term refinancing operations; at the same time we have committed to maintaining fully accommodating support to the EU banking system until at least October this year.
Central account part clearing is very important not only for delivering transparency but also for diversifying and sharing risk exposures and in reducing the incentives to take excessive risks; certain financial instruments which were introduced for hedging should not be misused for speculation; regulators should be able to take up effective investigations into possible improper conduct (4 shots)
||Soundbite by Olli Rehn, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs (in ENGLISH): Greece is now on track to reach the 4% target over deficit reduction this year following the board and convincing measures the Greek Parliament has taken earlier this month and which are in force now; this moment can indeed take a turning point in the fiscal history and economical development in Greece; however neither Greece nor the Euro zone is completely out of the woods yet as there are still concerns about financial stability in the EU area (3 shots)
||Soundbite by Sophie Auconie, Member of the EP (in FRENCH): saying that today the only real economic European policy is the economic monetary policy, coordination is limited in budget policy, so the Euro zone as this report mentions yet again is intended to incorporate all Member States and therefore it must have effective governance in every aspect of economic policy, it must start with micro economic and financial monitoring.
||Soundbite by Philippe Lamberts, Member of the EP (in ENGLISH): we need to take a hard look at coordinating tax revenue, because what do we have to do to rebalance the tax income away from labouring income to other forms of income, including capital income.
||General views of the plenary session (3 shots)