Ex-Spanish PM hopes for decisions on eurozone crisisDecember 3rd, 2011 - 7:17 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) Former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar Saturday said that joining an economic block was no substitute for countries to take painful decisions about their economies and hoped that the summit of European Union leaders next week will take decisions to tackle the eurozone debt crisis.
Speaking at a session, “The World Turned Upside Down”, at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here, Aznar said the future of European Union was linked to the future of euro as a currency.
Former Australian prime minister John Howard, who also spoke during the session, said Europe should be wary of excessive belief in multilateralism.
Aznar, who was prime minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004, said there was no substitute for right economic policies.
“There is no substitute for right economic policies in individual countries. Many economies are strong, others are weak. The weak economies will revive if there are correct domestic policies,” he said.
Aznar said the next two weeks will be decisive regarding the eurozone debt crisis. Aznar said if European leaders do not take decisions in their summit scheduled next week, it could accentuate problems.
He said lack of discipline and flexibility in policies can lead to problems.
“(If we) lose discipline, lose flexibility, there is a huge mess. Our current situation is a huge mess,” Aznar said.
Howard, who was prime minister of Australia from 1996 to 2007, said too much faith should not be placed on international bureaucracy.
He said globalisation had lifted hunderds of millions out of poverty and there was a shift of gravity in terms of middle classes to Asia.
“By 2030, majority of middle class will live in this part of world…It is the first time this will happen since the Industrial Revolution,” he said, adding that India will contribute significantly to the process.
Howard said though the US was facing protracted period of unemployment, its capacity to regenerate was much brighter than many other countries as its economy was far less regulated.
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