European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso called today for an end to the “constant drama” about the single currency.
He told Euro MPs that the European Union “may be turning a corner” towards stability and growth, following a summit two weeks ago which approved tough new controls on eurozone economies and cleared the way for a new Greek bailout.
It was the first summit for two years not to be swamped by crisis management, and Mr Barroso, speaking in Strasbourg, declared: “There is now less tension regarding the Euro area, but we are not yet out of the crisis. The situation remains fragile and we have to complete our work.”
That work included boosting EU bailout funds to defend against further emergencies, and he added that long-term economic repair work was now possible.
“I expect EU leaders to focus not just on short-term crisis management, but also on growth,” said Mr Barroso.
“Smart, sustainable, inclusive growth, is the key to job-creation and the future prosperity of Europe.”
He said the EU, with the signing at the latest summit of a new “fiscal compact” for tougher financial controls, had sent “a strong political message about the irreversibility of the Euro”.
The move had been well received by investors inside and outside Europe.
Mr Barroso continued: “We have now come a long way in creating more stable conditions that will enable us to do the bulk of the work still before us.
“What we need is not constant drama about the Euro, but hard work and determination in our action to sustain the European social market economy.
“No, the European social model is not dead. But in a more challenging environment, we need a more competitive Europe that delivers stability and growth through responsibility and solidarity.”