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Switzerland: Some euro-zone states lived 'above their means' - Barroso01:22

Switzerland: Some euro-zone states lived 'above their means' - Barroso

Switzerland, Davos
January 23, 2014 at 18:26 GMT +00:00 · Published

Switzerland: Some euro-zone states lived 'above their means' - Barroso

President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, participated in a debate at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday.

Reflecting on the euro zone's economic crisis, Barroso put forward his explanation, saying: "The problem was that some of our countries as Angel Gurria just said, were living for some time above their means. Exactly the countries that were having high unique labour costs - much higher than productivity - were exactly the targets of the markets. In some cases with other problems in financial sector but in fact Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy were the most vulnerable countries of the markets and we see it is a mathematical correlation with the evolution there is before."

When asked to voice his view on the rise of nationalist parties in Europe, Barroso called for member states' political parties to open dialogue with their constituents, saying: "I am calling mainstream parties to leave the comfort zone and to speak up for Europe and to speak - explain as Prime Minister Reinfeldt just said, why we cannot give up on freedom of movement in Europe, that's one of the greatest achievements. But while I expect those nationalistic sometimes xenophobic parties to come up, I think they will not reach a mass where they will become really a problem in terms of decisions in European Parliament, they will not be able to block legislation."

Switzerland: Some euro-zone states lived 'above their means' - Barroso01:22
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Switzerland: Some euro-zone states lived 'above their means' - Barroso

President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, participated in a debate at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday.

Reflecting on the euro zone's economic crisis, Barroso put forward his explanation, saying: "The problem was that some of our countries as Angel Gurria just said, were living for some time above their means. Exactly the countries that were having high unique labour costs - much higher than productivity - were exactly the targets of the markets. In some cases with other problems in financial sector but in fact Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy were the most vulnerable countries of the markets and we see it is a mathematical correlation with the evolution there is before."

When asked to voice his view on the rise of nationalist parties in Europe, Barroso called for member states' political parties to open dialogue with their constituents, saying: "I am calling mainstream parties to leave the comfort zone and to speak up for Europe and to speak - explain as Prime Minister Reinfeldt just said, why we cannot give up on freedom of movement in Europe, that's one of the greatest achievements. But while I expect those nationalistic sometimes xenophobic parties to come up, I think they will not reach a mass where they will become really a problem in terms of decisions in European Parliament, they will not be able to block legislation."

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