Thursday, June 23, 2005

Gordon Brown: REFORM OR DIE!

EU: Taking lessons from P Diddy no doubt.

"Downing Street last night said the Prime Minister will attempt to reassure MEPs that his vision is "not a purely market Europe" but a union that combines economic reform with strong social policies. That more emollient tone was also marked by an article Mr Blair wrote yesterday in Bild, Germany's biggest newspaper. "Of course the EU is much more than a free-trade area," Mr Blair wrote. "Britain supports a social Europe, but it must be a social Europe which is adapted to today's world." But addressing bankers in London in his annual Mansion House speech, Gordon Brown left little doubt that he expects European leaders to follow Britain's economic example. "Here in Britain, we have had to make and continue to make hard, long-term choices to achieve stability, growth and flexibility," the Chancellor said. "Now to be globally competitive, the European Union must make these long-term choices too." The rapid growth of developing economies such as China's should serve as a warning to Europe, Mr Brown said. "No country or continent, however successful today, can take its long-term prosperity for granted," he said. "History shows how countries which felt invulnerable can experience rapid decline, and the risks are all the greater with the unprecedented pace of change today." Mr Brown did not stop at demanding reform of the CAP, also calling for EU leaders to take urgent steps to open up markets in energy, utilities and financial services.

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