Poland 'dissatisfied' with Sarkozy-Merkel summit

19th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Current EU president Poland on Friday said it was dissatisfied by the outcome of a recent Franco-German summit on the eurozone debt crisis and urged firm management as part of the solution.

"We are dissatisfied with the outcome of the Merkel-Sarkozy summit because de facto it did not lead to strengthening the financial management of the eurozone," Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk told lawmakers in a televised debate.

"The Polish presidency expected, and it still expects, decisions that are much firmer," Tusk said.

"We are not afraid of the meetings of eurozone politicians bringing stronger economic management of the eurozone, because the eurozone absolutely requires this," Tusk added.

He insisted that firm management of the 17-member eurozone to which Poland does not yet belong would facilitate greater discipline in public spending among all its members.

"This provides a good chance to discipline those inside the eurozone who place in doubt its existence precisely due to their lack of discipline," Tusk said.

"This is a question which must be asked primarily of France (...) whether it is ready to find it admissible that if things will be bad at home the European Union can apply certain rules and regulations," he added.

The EU's Maastricht Treaty criteria require eurozone members and states wishing to join it to limit annual deficits to three percent of GDP, a measure which most eurozone and EU members grossly exceed.

Under pressure from France and Germany the measures were weakened in 2005, although the targets were formally kept.

During their Tuesday meeting, France's Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany's Angela Merkel vowed to give the eurozone bloc a "true economic government" raising the ideas of an EU-wide tax on financial transactions and the creation of a eurozone governing body headed by European Union president Herman van Rompuy.

Poland's finance minister Jacek Rostowski told reporters Friday that Poland's position on the financial transaction tax was neutral but questioned whether the measure would not cause business to move elsewhere.

As Poland is not host to a huge volume of financial transactions "we are therefore neutral," Rostowski said, but warned the tax could cause "transactions to move elsewhere, to another continent and Europe would no longer benefit."

A member the European Union since 2004, ex-communist Poland is obliged to join the eurozone under it accession deal, but amid the zone's debt crisis has not pegged a target date to adopt the euro and is not bound by a firm entry deadline.

Poland's first stint as holder of the European Union's six-month rotating presidency ends on January 1, 2012.

© 2011 AFP

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