Europe’s reform drive risks running out of steam

Europe’s reform drive risks running out of steam
European leaders are caught between former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’s injunction

„You never want a serious crisis to go to waste“

and Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker’s admission that

„We all know what to do. We just don’t know how to get re-elected after we’ve done it.“

Signs of reform fatigue are growing in euro zone countries as bond market pressure for a radical budget and economic overhaul has eased slightly. While several governments have pushed through changes in pension, employment and welfare systems that would have been unthinkable before the currency area’s debt crisis, the reform push is losing momentum in the face of political resistance.
Italy’s unelected prime minister, Mario Monti, made a veiled threat to quit this week for the first time in an attempt to force through a shake-up of labour laws intended to make it easier for companies to fire workers. Monti warned Italians that his team of reforming technocrats might not stay in office until a 2013 election if trade unions and politicians picked his plan apart.

„If the country, through its labour organisations and political parties, does not feel ready for what we consider a good job, we would certainly not seek to keep going just to reach a particular date,“


moneycontrol – Source: Reuters
weitere hübsche Juncker-Zitate:
  • „I am determined, as is the Government, to do everything to preserve everything that we have worked for and that we believe in … by using all necessary means to fend off the hostile (bid).
On the bids on Arcelor by Mittal, 5 February 5, 2006
  • „If it’s a Yes, we will say ‚on we go‘, and if it’s a No we will say ‚we continue‘.“
On the 2005 French referendum on the Lisbon Treaty
  • „The constitutional treaty was an easily understandable treaty. This is a simplified treaty which is very complicated.“
On the Lisbon Treaty, 23 June 2007 
  • „I am astonished at those who are afraid of the people: one can always explain that what is in the interest of Europe is in the interests of our countries.“
    „Britain is different. Of course there will be transfers of sovereignty. But would I be intelligent to draw the attention of public opinion to this fact?“
    „There is a single legal personality for the EU, the primacy of European law, a new architecture for foreign and security policy, there is an enormous extension in the fields of the EU’s powers, there is Charter of Fundamental Rights.“
On the Lisbon TreatyLe Soir 
  • “We all know what to do, we just don’t know how to get re-elected after we’ve done it.”
When talking about economic reforms.
  • „Monetary policy is a serious issue. We should discuss this in secret, in the Eurogroup […] I’m ready to be insulted as being insufficiently democratic, but I want to be serious […] I am for secret, dark debates.“
Jean-Claude Juncker, 20 April 2011. „Eurogroup chief: ‚I’m for secret, dark debates‘„, EUobserver, 21 April 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  • „I don’t think Spain will need any kind of external support.“
Jean-Claude Juncker, 17 April 2012. „Eurogroup chief: ‚“Not if, but when“ for Spanish bailout, experts believe‘„, Reuters, 18 April 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
Quelle: wikiquote