Jacques Delors — one man responsible for ushering in the European Economic and Monetary Union — told Swiss newspaper Le Temps that Europe and the euro risk falling from “the edge of a precipice.””To avoid falling, the choice looks straightforward to me: either member states accept the robust economic partnership I always demanded, or they transfer more powers to the Union,” said Delors, who served as European Commission president from 1985 to 1994.
His voice joins a chorus of experts and leaders who are calling for eurobonds and a more comprehensive economic and political EU.
Delors proposed a part-mutualization of European debt, with nations allowed to harmonize debts worth “up to 60 per cent of GDP” and issue joint securities. This is, in his words, “the pump to extinguish the fire.”
Delors also trash-talked Merkel and Sarkozy for failing to articulate a comprehensive plan to fix the crisis. He also called the creation of a new European finance minister post a “wacky gadget.”
“I have always said that the success of Europe, economically, based on a triangle: the competition that stimulates, cooperation that strengthens and solidarity that unites. We must move to action. Because if we do not, the markets will continue to doubt…
I was always pragmatic. Yet since the beginning of the crisis, European leaders have missed the reality. How can they think that the markets will believe the promises of the summit of the eurozone, July 21, whether to wait until September to turn them into action?”
“My time in Brussels was easier. There was not, as now, the problem of rising individualism that undermines collective adventures, this clash between the local and global that feeds fears and narrow nationalisms, or this dictatorship of the instantaneity that does not take into account the necessary political time.”
Read the full interview here (in French) >