Economic and Financial Affairs Council: Extracts from the intermediary press conference by the Irish Presidency and the European Commission

Type: News   Reference: i-079788   Duration: 00:05:02  Lieu: Council , Luxembourg
End production: 21/06/2013   First transmission: 21/06/2013
The European Ministers for Finance gathered today in Luxembourg in a try to achieve agreement on new pan-EU rules for dealing with failing banks which are an important part of delivering on Banking Union. Discussions were expected to be tough. The meeting have focused on achieving political agreement on the Banking Recovery and Resolution (BRR) Directive. It has also seeked agreement on country-specific recommendations to the European Council on the European Semester process as well as formally agreeing to extend the time for number of countries to correct their excessive deficit. The discussions on bank recovery and resolution have focused on agreeing new rules for dealing with failing banks. These rules are important for strengthening our banking system and moving towards banking union. It will formally approve the agreements among member states on the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Regulation (MiFID II and MiFIR) and the VAT anti-fraud measures.

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00:00:00 Title 00:00:05
00:00:05 Arrival of the speakers 00:00:09
00:00:14 SOUNDBITE by Michael Noonan, Irish Minister for Finance and President in office of the Council (In English) saying that: Today we mark an important moment as we have endorsed the European Commission's specific recommendations. This follows the Commission's thorough assessment of national budgetary and economic policies. We also took a series of important decisions under the excessive deficit procedure. 00:00:21
00:00:35 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:03
00:00:38 SOUNDBITE by Michael Noonan (In English) saying that: Today we took an important step in welcoming Latvia into the Eurozone; I'm pleased to say that it will become a member on the 1st of January 2014. I was also please that we today formally took the decision previously agreed at the informal ECOFIN meeting in Dublin to extend the maturities of loans to Ireland and Portugal. 00:00:21
00:00:59 Cutaway of the speakers 00:00:04
00:01:03 SOUNDBITE by Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro (In English) saying that: We took one big step towards a banking union yesterday, and I expect another one tonight. We've used the new economic governance to recommend reforms to Member States in order to unleash the growth potential of Europe and its capacity to create jobs. We’ve taken initiatives to address the bottlenecks to lending to SMEs and to alleviate youth unemployment. And we’ve endorsed Latvia’s euro membership. 00:00:34
00:01:37 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:05
00:01:42 SOUNDBITE by Olli Rehn (In English) saying that: Let me say, though, that these recommendations should not be followed just because the Commission says so, or just because the ECOFIN, or the European Council, say so. They should be followed because they represent a blueprint for recovery – for the reforms needed to boost competitiveness, ensure sustainable pensions, and more dynamic and inclusive labour markets. In short, to remove obstacles to growth and job creation in Europe. 00:00:35
00:02:17 Cutaway of cameramen 00:00:04
00:02:21 SOUNDBITE by Olli Rehn (In English) saying that: The key to unlocking jobs lies above all with the Member States themselves. But there is much that can be done at the European level. This will be at the top of the agenda of the European Council next week, where we hope to see an agreement to frontload to 2014 and 2015 the deployment of €6 billion for the Youth Employment Initiative, which the Commission has proposed. 00:00:25
00:02:46 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:04
00:02:50 SOUNDBITE by Olli Rehn (In English) saying that: To step up job creation, we need to get credit flowing to SMEs, especially those in southern Europe. The Commission and the EIB have set out in a joint report for the European Council a set of concrete ways to address the financing trap in which too many of Europe’s small businesses find themselves. 00:00:23
00:03:13 Cutaway of the speakers 00:00:03
00:03:16 SOUNDBITE by Algirdas Šemeta, Member of the EC in charge of Taxation, Customs, Statistics, Audit and Anti-Fraud (In English) saying that: there is also a broader significance to today's agreement. It is further proof of Member States' new readiness to march against tax fraud, evasion and avoidance, with real determination. The momentum in this area clearly has not been lost. We just need to look at how much has been achieved in this area, even since EU Finance Ministers last met in May. 00:00:27
00:03:43 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:03
00:03:46 SOUNDBITE by Algirdas Šemeta (In English) saying that: I have already visited Switzerland and San Marino, and met with the Prime Minister of Lichtenstein, to give a political kick-start to what I hope will be quick negotiations. Each of these countries accepted to discuss automatically exchanging information with the EU, on a broad scope of income. In the coming weeks, I will go to Monaco and Andorra too, and I hope the official negotiations with all 5 will begin shortly afterwards. 00:00:30
00:04:16 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:03
00:04:19 SOUNDBITE by Algirdas Šemeta (In English) saying that: If all this can be achieved in a few short weeks, we should expect truly remarkable progress before the end of the year. There is plenty of opportunity for this – at national, EU and international level. However, it will require sustained efforts and continued determination. The fight against tax evasion cannot be a political "flash in the pan". For the sake of fair taxation and crucial revenues, the work in this area must keep pace, even after the headlines have died down. 00:00:36
00:04:55 Speakers leaving the press room 00:00:07
00:05:02 End 00:00:00
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