Swoboda deplores weak ECOFIN agreement for Portugal and Ireland missing reform for jobs and growth

The informal meeting of European finance ministers ended today with agreements to extend Portuguese and Irish rescue loan maturities by an average seven years. Growth for Europe and the Single Supervisory Mechanism were discussed, but no actions were agreed.

Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, said: ‚Particularly for the case of Portugal, an extension of only seven years of its loan maturities will not help to address the problem of mass unemployment and ever increasing social imbalances. A real reform of the terms of the country’s bailout is necessary for Portugal to be able to tackle its challenges in a socially balanced way. Delaying reimbursements can only be one part of a more comprehensive approach to create growth, jobs, and ensure a continuous reduction of public debt.

‚The current race in Europe to meet deficit reduction targets must not come at the expense of stimulating growth. Anti-cyclical investment in future-oriented fields like energy, research and development will generate growth and create jobs that in turn will contribute to reducing public deficits. I regret that this ECOFIN meeting did not come up with a stronger and detailed agenda on how to foster growth for Europe.‘