Callanan: President Hollande has shown Europe its future if it reverts to socialism

05-Feb-2013 @ 1:0

No items found.

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Speaking in a keynote debate with French President Francois Hollande this morning, European Conservatives and Reformists group leader Martin Callanan MEP thanked the socialist leader for showing the rest of Europe the future it could have if it follows him down the road of greater centralisation, higher taxes and rigid labour markets.

Mr Callanan said that socialism was causing capital flight and falling confidence. Instead of using the EU Single Market as a tool for harmonising down to the lowest common denominator, it should be used for encouraging competition that makes all of Europe stronger in the global economy, he said.

Callanan also paid tribute to French and other forces for their operation in Mali and he told the French President that if he was a true 'pro-European' he would allow the EU's Treaties to be changed so that MEPs no longer have to make the monthly trek to Strasbourg.

Speaking in the debate, he said:

"May I start by paying tribute to you and your brave armed forces for the current operation in Mali. Your troops, aided by British and other Member States forces, are risking their lives to protect us, and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude. I hope that this whole Chamber will unite in paying tribute to them.

"Mr President, thank you for agreeing to hold a debate here in Strasbourg today which is a beautiful and welcoming city. One that should be visited by everyone at least once. But maybe not once every month. You label yourself a pro-European. But if you truly were then you would allow the  Treaties to be changed so that this Parliament can decide where and when it sits.

"I want to convey a  simple message: Thank you! Thank you for brilliantly demonstrating to the rest of Europe what a Socialist government looks like in practice. One that gets elected on an 'end to austerity' and is then mugged by economic reality into introducing harsh budget cuts.

"When the Socialists left power in my country, they left a note in our country's Treasury saying, "I'm afraid there is no money left". Last week your Labour Minister admitted that France is bankrupt. Let's be clear, things aren't in great shape in other countries either, but since you have come to power, we have seen how devastating socialism can be, even to a country as well-placed and talented as France. 

"Mr President, you have shown us our Socialist future: if we increase taxes to 75 percent; if we lower the retirement age to 60; and if we have a 35 hour working week. Electorally attractive, of course, but devastating for our international competitiveness.
"Ronald Reagan used to have a great saying: "If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And when it stops moving, subsidize it." Reagan of course meant it as a joke but, many Socialists seem to see it as some sort of a manifesto.

"If Europe is to thrive then we need to chart a new direction. For Socialists, the 'Single Market' means harmonised labour rules, harmonised taxes, and harmonised economic policies. For me, 'Single Market' means a free forum where we all compete with each other, and in turn we all become more competitive in the international market.

"It's time to make the EU about competition once again. 

"Mr President, I want to see a strong France helping to move Europe in a new direction, so far the first few months of your Presidency have shown that Socialism will deliver neither."

« Back