Van Bommel in televised debate on Euro Crisis

23 December 2010

Van Bommel in televised debate on Euro Crisis

SP European Affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel appeared on Crosstalk, a current affairs discussion programme broadcast by Russian television’s English-language service.

Van Bommel joined a heated debate with a representative of the pro-EU Centre for European Policy Studies and Robert Oulds of the EU-critical but conservative Bruges Group. The discussion threatened on a number of occasions to degenerate into a shouting match, but unlike the other two participants, Harry kept his cool and managed to get his points over in the face of repeated interruptions.

He pointed out that a currency union which is not backed by a political union was always bound to run into problems, and that these problems are now being used by those who want to see a federal European state who were advancing their cause in a way which bypassed what should be a democratic decision of the member states’ peoples.

It seemed unlikely that the current bail-out fund would be sufficient to cover the needs of Spain, which was experiencing the same difficulties as had Greece and Ireland, as was Portugal. Any change to the Lisbon Treaty to enable the establishment of such a fund would represent yet another transfer of powers and a further weakening of national sovereignty, and should clearly be put to referenda.

Agreeing with Oulds that national parliaments had been deprived of the power to do what people elected them to do, he said that the Dutch government was consistently unable to follow the instructions of the country’s parliament in The Hague, as it was overruled by other countries.

Van Bommel also suggested that it would be better to divide the euro so that the weaker economies were not exposed to such intense competition while the taxpayers of the stronger economies were not obliged to bail them out.

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