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Posts Tagged ‘Eurozone’

US defence chief: Europe may no longer be worth defending

In Americas, Europe News on June 13, 2011 at 4:46 pm

By Valentina Pop

Under pressure to cut its military spending, the US is losing patience with Europe’s unwillingness to pay for its own defence, outgoing US defence minister Robert Gates said Friday (10 June) in an unusually ‘blunt’ speech in Brussels, casting doubt over the very survival of Nato.

On his last trip to Europe before retiring on 30 June, Gates – who has served as defence minister both in the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations – allowed himself “to speak bluntly” during a conference organised by the Security and Defence Agenda, a Brussels-based think tank.

Looking first at Afghanistan, he noted that the operation got bogged down in national caveats which hampered the range of actions European soldiers were allowed to do – a hint at Germany’s restrictions on its troops to use lethal force, which meant that they could not be deployed in combat against the Taliban.

As for troop withdrawal, with the Netherlands suddenly pulling out after a government was forced to resign last year over the Afghan war, Gates said: “We cannot afford to have some troop-contributing nations to…”

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Eurogroup chief: ‘I’m for secret, dark debates’

In Europe News on April 22, 2011 at 12:33 pm

By Valentina Pop

Eurozone economic policies should only be conducted in “dark secret rooms”, to prevent dangerous movements in financial markets, the Eurogroup chief said on Wednesday (20 April), adding that he had often lied in his career to prevent the spread of rumours that could feed speculation.

As exists in the case of monetary policy, all economic decisions should now be discussed behind closed doors, he said

“Monetary policy is a serious issue. We should discuss this in secret, in the Eurogroup,” Jean-Claude Juncker said at a Brussels conference on economic governance organised by the European Movement, an organisation that promotes European integration, referring to matters already long since outsourced from national parliaments to independent central banks.

“The same applies to economic and monetary policies in the Union. If we indicate possible decisions, we are fuelling speculations on the financial markets and we are throwing in misery mainly the people we are trying to safeguard from this.”

“I’m ready to be insulted as being…”

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