April 8, 2020
“Solidarity” doesn’t come with conditions attached: MacManus

“Solidarity” doesn’t come with conditions attached: MacManus

Sinn Féin MEP, and member of the powerful Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Chris Mac Manus has reacted to the failure of EU leaders to agree a response to the Covid 19 pandemic following a Eurogroup meeting. Mac Manus said some in the EU have failed to grasp that “solidarity” doesn’t come with conditions attached and should review their position.

He said:

“I am disappointed at the failure of the Eurogroup to bite the bullet and put in a place a framework that would allow countries to recover in a fair way. In short, solidarity cannot come with conditions attached. The people in countries worst impacted like Spain and Italy need concrete and urgent action not judgemental politicians seeking to put a price on solidarity.

Looking at the scenes in Italy and Spain, which could still arrive on our shores, it is unforgivable that some in the EU are refusing to move beyond failed notions like monitoring programmes and fiscal rules.

The ESM should be utilised but without conditions. The ECB’s actions have ensured that in the short term borrowing is affordable and the suspension of the fiscal rules and the State Aid rules allow countries to do what is immediately necessary but the next step has to be a form of Coronabonds bought up where necessary by the ECB.

Now is not the time either for the EU Commission to crowbar itself into the crisis by seeking to boost its own fiscal powers at the expense of Member States. It has done the right thing in suspending its own rules and should heed the message that it may be best acting where it can and staying out of where it is not needed.

This is a time of great suffering and requires genuine solidarity and cohesion. Unfortunately, the EU response to date has failed to deliver to those in greatest need. ENDS

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