EU agreement to impose a tax on banks and to publish their "solvency tests"
18. June 2010. | 12:21 12:22
The heads of state and government leaders reiterated their collective determination to guarantee fiscal sustainability, including the speeding up of fiscal reorganisation where this is justified.During this fundamentally economic summit, the leaders also approved the sustainable growth economic strategy "Europe 2020", which will promote a series of reforms aimed at competitiveness and employment, placing research and development at the centre of economic initiatives for the next decade.
The President of the Spanish government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, expressed his satisfaction at having achieved one of the main goals that Spain had set itself during its rotational presidency: a "stronger and more transparent EU" in terms of economic matters.
He emphasised this at the press conference after the meeting of the EU-27 heads of state and government leaders, which he gave together with the permanent President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and the President of the European Commission (EC), José Manuel Durao Barroso.
In this Council, the introduction of a tax on banks has been agreed. This tax will help to defray the costs of future financial crises, a principal which the Europeans will defend at the next G-20 summit, to be held in Toronto (Canada) on 27 and 28 June.
Moreover, it has been decided that, no later that the second half of July, the solvency tests that the banks have been subjected to must be made public, as a measure to reduce uncertainty about the health of the European financial system.
The President of the Spanish Government declared himself to be "firmly in favour" of these tests, which were announced yesterday by Spain, and which, in his opinion, should be of maximum exigency.
"Transparency is the best way to demonstrate solvency, create confidence and leave all those unfounded rumours behind us", said the Spanish President, who therefore emphasised his "utmost satisfaction" at the agreement of the other countries.
In general, the EU is advancing towards "a stronger and more demanding economic government", continued
Zapatero, since all the countries had agreed on the urgent need to strengthen the coordination of their policies in these matters.
They have reached an agreement on the initial positions in relation to the Stability and Growth Pact and on budget vigilance, as well as a more general macroeconomic supervision.
Moreover, the heads of state and government leaders reiterated their collective determination to guarantee fiscal sustainability, including the speeding up of fiscal reorganisation where this is justified.
During this fundamentally economic summit, the leaders also approved the sustainable growth economic strategy "Europe 2020", which will promote a series of reforms aimed at competitiveness and employment, placing research and development at the centre of economic initiatives for the next decade.
According to the conclusions of the meeting, this strategy will form a framework for the Union to mobilise all its instruments and policies, and for member states to act with greater coordination, with the objectives of reaching a 75% employment rate for men and women, and the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 20%.
The President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said that today "the first normal meeting" had been held since he assumed his post in January, because although the crisis continued to dominate the agenda, all the countries "have shown strong political determination".
The objectives that have been approved "are not only extensive but specific", in the opinion of the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Durao Barroso, who committed himself to "speed up the work" of the institution he presides in order to make progress on the consequent legal proposals.
According to the Spanish government, all the reforms that have been approved today are "a fundamental step" towards the "second great objective" that the Spanish Presidency of the EU had set itself, an economically stronger and more stable Union, after experiencing an unprecedented financial crisis.
The first great objective, which he also considered to have been fulfilled, was the appropriate setting in motion of the Treaty of Lisbon, approved last December, for close and productive cooperation with the new permanent authorities.