Europe needs of a culture of stability, said Germany's Foreign Affairs Minister Guido Westerwelle on September 2 in reference to the debt crises affecting several eurozone countries, the TASR newswire reported.
"We need a strong currency and this can only be achieved via competitiveness and debt discipline," said the German official at a joint press conference with his Slovak counterpart Mikuláš Dzurinda. Westerwelle went on to cite Germany and Slovakia as examples of such prudent fiscal management, adding that the fact that some countries are mulling the introduction of a "debt brake" in their constitutions points to the fact that the crux of the problem has been identified.
"It's not that Europe has a problem or that the euro is a problem. What is a problem though is the insufficient budgetary discipline of some eurozone member countries. This must change and it entails hard work," Westerwelle said, as quoted by TASR.
He also touched on Slovakia's decision to be the last eurozone country to consider ratification of the processes pertinent to the EFSF and ESM bail-out funds. "I fully trust Slovakia's pro-European orientation. I fully believe that the Slovak government, as well as parliament, are aware of the fact that our joint economic fate hinges partly on the euro," said Westerwelle, conceding that a difficult debate on this issue is "natural". Dzurinda asserted that Slovakia should not block the establishment of the permanent ESM bail-out mechanism, as "no better or more effective solution is available."
Dzurinda and Westerwelle also opened the school year at the German School in Bratislava on the same day, TASR reported. The official delegation was welcomed by the school's headmistress, Elisabeth Lutz, along with teachers and pupils. Dzurinda highlighted the fact that "Deutsche Schule" – being a private educational facility with an international programme – was included in the official list of schools as of September 1. Westerwelle appreciated the fact that just six years after being established the school has become an integral part of the Slovak education system, adding that it provides an impetus towards further building of this educational institution where pupils will be able to sit both Slovak and German secondary school-leaving exams.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
6. Sep 2011 at 10:00