EU center-right leaders meet in Helsinki to prepare for Eurozone Summit

Published: 05/03/2011 12:00

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A special summit of center-right EU leaders of the European People’s Party (EPP) was held in Helsinki, the capital of Finland on Friday evening, preparing for the Eurozone Summit on March 11.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (C), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and Finland’s Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen attend the European People’s Party (EPP) meeting in Helsinki, capital of Finland, March 4, 2011. European leaders from centre-right political parties discussed the euro zone debt crisis at a meeting on Friday and tried to forge a common position before two critical summits later this month. (Xinhua Photo)

A dozen center-right leaders from eurozone countries, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as well as Enda Kenny, Ireland’s prime minister-elect, attended the meeting. In addition, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy were present at the meeting.

The meeting, which was hosted by Finnish Financial Minister Jyrki Katainen, focused on economic management within the EU, the crisis management mechanism for members in financial difficulty and strengthening fiscal disciplines for eurozone countries.

According to Katainen, who is the leader of Finland’s National Coalition Party and EPP vice president, the meeting could hopefully assist in securing a healthy fiscal discipline within the eurozone.

At a press conference held after the meeting, Katainen said that the leaders agreed that Europe needed stronger rules on debt. He stressed that eurozone countries should abide by stronger fiscal disciplines in order to solve the economic problems, adding that any violation to the disciplines should be punished.

European Commission President Barroso also stressed the importance of stronger fiscal disciplines among EU countries so as to prevent from new debt crisis. Barroso also said the meeting was a way of bringing closer the positions regarding the euro area prior to next week’s meeting in Brussels.

German Chancellor Merkel also told journalists before the talks that she believed EU will reach in a common guideline to solve current economic problems.

The meeting gives EPP leaders an opportunity to thrash out a common approach at next week’s meeting in Brussels aimed at formulating ways to repair eurozone finances. The eurozone economic crisis management mechanism will be a primary issue at the EU summit scheduled for the end of this month.

Source: Xinhuanet

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