MacManus backs French call for reform of Fiscal Rules
Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has backed calls from the French government to reform the fiscal rules in light of the Covid epidemic. He was commenting after the French Minister for European Affairs Clément Beaune said in French media that the rules cannot return as they were when their suspension ends.
MacManus, who is a member of the EU Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee said:
“This intervention from the French government is welcome. The EU quite correctly suspended its fiscal rules as the economic bite of Covid was felt. As we find ourselves deep in a second wave of this terrible virus the reality must start dawning on Europe’s leaders that the rules which were never fit for purpose are now completely redundant.
Minister Beaune points to the fact that investment will be needed to resurrect Europe’s economies. This means an arbitrary target of 3% deficits and reducing public debt to 60% of GDP are simply not feasible anytime soon without inflicting incredible austerity. The rules are simply redundant.
Sinn Féin has always opposed the rules and seeks their abolition or deep reform. Public investment should not be limited by the rules given the need to transform our economy to a carbon free one even before Covid hit the world. Deficits should be what they need to be to support workers and businesses dealing with this shock.
The coming debate offers an opportunity for real change not only in the rules but in the nature of the EU itself allowing a more social Europe. Unfortunately, as we know from his nomination letter to the Eurogroup Minister Paschal Donohue has signalled that his government are very much on the side of “a pathway back to the rule on State Aid and the Growth and Stability Pact in the medium term”.
For me and Sinn Féin the pathway should be to protect our most vulnerable and our workers through this period without regard to arbitrary rules and then to build more sustainable rules that allow sovereign States make the investments their countries need. We look forward to the coming debate” ENDS
Note to Editor:
Link to French report: