The socialist leaders of the Eurozone on Saturday discussed and adopted an alternative plan for a recovery from the debt crisis, ahead of Thursday's emergency Eurozone meeting, asserting that European governments had to "reassert their primacy over financial markets" or they would be placing their sovereignty at risk.
A key proposal of their plan included a European 'stability' agency to reprofile the debt of Eurozone member states and help get them back on track when they were at risk of losing stability, as well as the issue of Eurobonds as a tool in this effort.
The plan was worked out during a phone conference on Saturday between Eurozone leaders belonging to the Party of European Socialists, including Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, and was later released as a joint statement entitled "A Eurozone based on Democratically accountable economic policy".
A PES press release said that this outlined both the practical steps necessary for recovery and "an increasing level of frustration at the Conservative majority's inability to formulate an effective response".
Other participants in the meeting including French opposition party leader Martine Aubry, European Parliament S&D Group leader Martin Schulz, Dutch labour party leader Job Cohen, new Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja and new Irish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore, as well as PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen.
Papandreou welcomed the PES initiative stating that: "the European Union has great economic potential but under conservative leadership there is a lack of political will to turn it into policies".
In their joint statement, the PES socialists called for:
- urgent measures to ensure a sustainable solution for Greece.
- A stability agency, to reprofile the debt of Eurozone Member State.
- An efficient Eurozone mechanism, with joint guarantees, designed to help countries which are attacked by speculators and which ensures that private investors responsible for reckless lending also bear their share of the costs of stabilizing measures.
- A European Tax on Speculation, to raise new revenue without unfair social cuts.
- A real financial reform, to ban harmful practices and instruments and limit the power of Credit Rating Agencies, including by establishing a publicly-funded European independent credit rating agency.
- A European Investment Strategy to promote fair growth and job creation.
Noting that the repeated actions of an "out of control" section of the financial markets have effectively transferred the management of national budgets and debt to the private sector, the document stressed that "it is time for the Governments of Euro-zone member-states to collectively assert their primacy over financial markets". .