OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government said on Thursday it would not send money to bail out Europe and lashed out at “sumptuous euro welfare state countries” that between them could afford their own bailouts.
Pierre Poilievre, a parliamentary secretary who was speaking for the government in the House of Commons, said Canada was not going to spend taxpayer money to help Europe.
“They tax to the max, borrow to the brink and...they are seeking a bailout to continue spending what they do not have,” he said, using language that’s more colorful than Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s traditionally more cautious line.
“It will not get it from Canada. This prime minister will not force hardworking Canadian taxpayers to bail out sumptuous euro welfare state countries and the wealthy bankers that lend to them.”
Ottawa, a fierce opponent of boosting IMF resources to help it cope with Europe’s debt crisis, has often said that European countries are rich enough to handle their own debt problems.
Poilievre’s remarks came on the same day that Harper discussed the crisis with French President Francois Hollande during a visit to Europe.
Speaking to Canadian reporters after the meeting, Harper described the euro zone as “kind of a half-done project” which lacked the tools to handle economic turmoil properly.
In Ottawa, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the euro zone had not confronted its crisis.
“The solution is not...to take billions of Canadian tax dollars and give them to wealthy European countries,” he said in the House.
“Quite frankly these are among the wealthiest countries in the world and they can manage their own issue before looking to other countries,” he told reporters later, citing the U.S. bailouts of its own economy following its 2008 financial crisis.
“Germany has a major role to play obviously as one of the most powerful economies in the euro zone.”
Reporting by Randall Palmer and Louise Egan in Ottawa and Cameron French in Toronto; Editing by Janet Guttsman