December 8, 2011 / 2:48 PM / 6 years ago

Highlights: Remarks by EU leaders at Marseille talks

MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) - The following are remarks by EU leaders at a meeting of the conservative European People’s Party in Marseille, southern France, ahead of an EU summit in Brussels.

ANGELA MERKEL, German Chancellor in a speech

“We’ll find good solutions (in Brussels) and we’ll thus be taking one further step to overcome this crisis. But it won’t be ended with one fell swoop but instead will take years of hard work.”

“Words alone aren’t believed anymore because we didn’t always back up our words. And that’s why we need more ties and, to my mind, treaty changes ... so that the Commission in particular gets more responsibility. We will have to bow to the will of the Commission more than in the past, when member states, even Germany, watered down the rules. And that’s what’s at stake (in Brussels) today and tomorrow.”

NICOLAS SARKOZY, French president, in a speech

“If there is no deal on Friday, there will be no second chance.”

“The entire world is asking us to make political choices. Europe will be 28 with our Croatian friend.”

”We need structural changes, we want this to happen for 27 (EU member states) so that nobody is left behind, but our bigger aim is that nobody opposes the reform of Europe. We want the 27 but if there is a blockage inside the 27 then we will pass to 17 and say to anyone who wants to join the reform of 17 is welcome.

“We must go to the end of the discussion. I do not believe in protectionism. ... but I want trade to be loyal.”

“Europe cannot be the most open (trade) zone in the world and then not translate the word reciprocity in its own discussions. I want us to rethink the question of competition.”

“We need to talk about a real European industrial policy.”

“This congress could be a historic congress and I hope it will be for the best, certainly not for the worst.”

“Never has the risk of Europe exploding been so big. Europe is facing an extremely dangerous situation.”

“If we want to find an accord, and we have to, we need the courage to make a fair diagnosis. This diagnosis is that the euro, which should inspire confidence, is not inspiring this confidence.”

“The diagnosis is that we have a few weeks to decide because time is working against us. If we do not agree on this I fear we will not agree on anything.”

“How to get out of this? ... We must reform Europe, we must rethink Europe. If we don’t have the courage to do it, the same causes will produce the same effect. If we don’t have the courage to do it the people will rise up against us.”

”More the years pass, the more I believe in Europe.

MARIANO RAJOY, Spanish prime minister elect

“I‘m convinced our economic problems will only be resolved if the Spanish economy returns to strong growth. For this to happen, we need to reduce our sovereign debt risk, take structural reforms which will aid growth and competitiveness, stimulate savings and increase our exports.”

“The euro zone countries need to make deep budget adjustments, eliminate unproductive spending and make long term fiscal plans. We need structural reforms to stimulate growth and win competitiveness. But, for these reforms to assure a new Europe, it’s important, now, without any delay, to use all available means and resources to stop the hemorrhaging of sovereign debt.”

“We need greater budgetary rigor and establish additional controls to stop a crisis such as this happening again. We must do it. And if, for all this, we need to modify Treaties, we must modify them. We must do everything in our power to strengthen the European Union.”

JOSE MANUEL BARROSO, European Commission president

“Without strong governance, it will be difficult to maintain monetary union.”

“Yes to sovereignty, to shared sovereignty in Europe.”

“I think we can find a compromise tonight and tomorrow.”

”The summit that we are going to ... tonight in Brussels is indeed a crucial one. What I expect from all heads of governments is that they don’t come saying what they cannot do but what they will do for Europe.

“All the world is watching us and what the world (expects) from us is not more national problems but European solutions. At the core of this crisis there is a problem of confidence and credibility, this is why we, at the European Commission, support more convergence, more discipline. It is extremely important that we all together, (the whole) European Union shows that the euro is irreversible.”

ENDA KENNY, Irish prime minister

“We need decisiveness and clarity and simplicity from European leaders.”

“It’s important that decisions be made and that they be implemented.”

“Ireland can be the first example of a country using solidarity and support ... to emerge from a bailout situation.”

“I strongly support the idea of stronger fiscal governance in the euro zone and throughout Europe.”

“New rules alone will not be enough to bring stability to the euro zone, we have to take clear decisions now. We’ve got to be able to prove and demonstrate that when we make decisions we are prepared to stand by those decisions.”

“It is time that we look pragmatically and we listen to the options for Europe in terms of the current crisis and how we move forward... with the accession of other countries.”

FREDERIK REINFELDT, Swedish prime minister, in speech

“When states are unable to manage their economies it is the citizens that will have to pay.”

”Let us deliver the answers on how to restore confidence to financial markets. Let us also show that we want to take on this challenge with a solid foundation.

”We must realize the virtue of sound public finances.

(on arrival) “We are open to discussions on how we can construct the measures to get better fiscal discipline.”

“We respect that the euro zone wants their own meetings and take part of the responsibility on their own ... But we want to stick with the 27 concept of course because all of us are members of the European Union and we want to have our influence. We want to keep the European project together.”

“It’s important to remember that the markets are looking at whether we get enough firepower in a firewall and if we do enough when it comes to increasing fiscal discipline and also reforms in the most troubled countries.”

“There are the solutions. Additional changes in treaties that might take a longer time might be needed but I don’t think that’s the solution that markets following us are actually looking for.”

TRAIAN BASESCU, Romanian president

“Romania would like to participate in any decisions on the euro zone, because this will affect the lives of people in Romania.”

“The solution is to remain a Europe of 27 members and not a Europe of 17.”

PETR NECAS, Czech prime minister, (in comments from Prague)

”We prefer the stabilization changes to the primary law to be done in the format of the entire EU-27.

“We expect the changes to affect only euro zone countries.”

“We can imagine a path, which we do not see as the best one, which we do not prefer but can imagine, a path of an intergovernmental agreement among the euro zone countries.”

“We cannot imagine that the Czech Republic would lose budget sovereignty and that the rules for the euro zone countries would also apply to countries outside the euro zone.”

SILVIO BERLUSCONI, leader of main Italian party (on arrival)

“Germany’s strictness has caused negative situations, for instance in the management of the Greek crisis. (This strictness) is the (factor) responsible of the current situation.”

“If we do not give the ECB the role of lender of last resort -- that could guarantee the sovereign debt of member states -- we will never solve the situation.”

JYRKI KATAINEN, Finnish prime minister

“All our current problems come from a failure to follow our own rules.”

“Let’s do what it’s necessary to do.”

PEDRO PASSOS COELHO, Portuguese prime minister

“This might be the most crucial summit in the EU’s history. The time for half-hearted measures and incomplete decisions is over.”

LAWRENCE GONZI, Lawrence Gonzi

“There is currently much disappointment about the way Europe has responded, or failed to respond, to what is going on around us. People expect us to do more to resolve the crisis.”

Reporting by Catherine Bremer, Paul Day, Francesco Guarascio and Emmanuel Jarry

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