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European Council

Cohn-Bendit calls for new economic and environment basis to tackle financial crisis

Representing the French presidency of the EU, Nicolas Sarkozy addressed the European parliament this morning on last week's European Council outcomes. Daniel Cohn-Bendit, co-president of the Greens/EFA Group, commented:

"All the crises are linked: social, financial and environmental. We know they started years, not months, ago so I ask for at least some shred of self-criticism by the former French finance minister Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President Mr Barroso.

"One year ago the Commission opposed regulation of the financial sector. Today everyone is talking about restructuring it without explaining how. The answer is that we need a Green New Deal with a new environmental and economic basis.

"Greens call for compulsory declaration of financial flows to tax havens. We believe any bank, company or individual that deposits money in a tax haven should do so with the knowledge of the country of origin.  

"On the climate and energy package, we have witnessed a true institutional coup d'état on the French presidency's watch. By postponing the decision to the European Council in December, we open a Pandora's box allowing veto by Poland, Italy and Germany who are looking to dilute legislation on CO2 reduction. By discarding the trialogue negotiation between the institutions, including the parliament and its co-decision role, we will not make a decision by qualified majority. We will pay dearly for this."

***ENDS***

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