Expatica news

Swedish PM tells Berlin: stick to reforms

30 March 2004

BERLIN – Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson urged Germany to go ahead with unpopular social and economic reforms, saying Europe’s most powerful economy has no other choice.

Emerging from talks with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Persson noted that Sweden had undergone painful reforms a decade ago.

“The voters chastised us initially,” he recalled. “Ultimately, however, they rewarded us when they realized we had done what was in their best interests.”

As he has in the past, Persson lashed out anew at fiscal laxity within the European Union, saying that current economic conditions were not favourable to meeting Lisbon targets.

“We have had a downturn in the economy in the last years,” said Persson.

“Much of the measures under the Lisbon process are on the supply side they don’t work in the downturn.”

Both leaders welcomed signs of impending compromise on the EU’s proposed constitution.

Persson said he was encouraged by signals from Spain and Poland at last week’s EU summit in Brussels that ratification can go ahead speedily.


Subject: German news