Reinfeldt pans proposed eurozone ‘government’

Reinfeldt pans proposed eurozone 'government'
Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt took a doubtful stance to the "true economic governance" within the eurozone called for by French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday.

“It is important that this initiative doesn’t just lead to further meetings,” said Reinfeldt to news agency TT.

The idea of closer economic integration within the eurozone is not a new one, said the prime minister, adding that this is not the first time that Sarkozy has called for a closer economic and fiscal policy.

“The best part was decisive formulations on bringing forward the rationalization of state finances,” said Reinfeldt.

He is not in favour of a tax on financial transactions, however.

“I don’t think that it will work unless it is applied globally, for everyone at the same time. What was expressed yesterday was that it would be applied to just the eurozone,” he said.

According to Reinfeldt, Sweden is interesting because it is the only country in Europe with any experience of this kind of transaction tax.

“Our experience is that if this is applied to a limited part of a market it will generate limited revenue. And transactions move. If this is applied on the eurozone, it is easy to imagine a large part of international transactions to move to London, or perhaps Stockholm,” Reinfeldt said.

Sarkozy and Merkel also announced on Tuesday that all eurozone members should adopt laws by the middle of next year committing their governments to balanced budgets.

According to Reinfeldt, however, these criteria are already part of the EU stability and growth pact. The most important issue, he argued, is not to make goals but to take appropriate action.

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