Ligi: Parliament Must Be Vigilant About Eurozone Crisis

19.09.2011 09:54
Category: Politics

When he emerged from a meeting of EU finance ministers on the weekend, Finance Minister Jürgen Ligi prodded his Parliament to pass legislation ratifying new powers for the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).

Ligi landed in Wroclaw, Poland on September 16 for two days of meetings with his EU counterparts.

The discussion agenda was daunting: the worsening debt crisis, questions surrounding a second Greek bailout, and political resistance in some EU quarters to expanding the EFSF.

Some EU voices, like Slovakia, are loathe to ratify legislation that compels poorer EU states to bail out richer members. Others, like Finland, are demanding collateral against future bailout loans.

This has resulted in political deadlock.

Ligi acknowledged that the behind-closed-doors debates were fierce. But he urged his Estonian colleagues to keep sights on the big picture.

"For me, the most important question is what happens regarding the stability of the Fund," said Ligi.

"[EU states] are strongly expected to quickly ratify the [new legislative] changes," said Ligi. "This points Estonia and the Estonian Parliament in a very clear direction.".

After the Wroclaw meeting, eurozone chief Jean-Claude Juncker dismissed the Finnish position as unrealistic. He characterized Helsinki's intransigence as an extension of domestic electoral politics.

Ligi, also critical of Finland's demand, was less blunt. "We really want the Finnish and Greek differences to be resolved, because the Finnish position is a rigid one," said Ligi.

Ligi added: "The international crisis could last five years, so there is a need to act and not remain in drag."

Andres Kahar

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