It's an ill wind that blows no-one any good, and the eurozone euro crisis is not such a wind, it seems. Having taken major steps in past decades to set up the European Union, including the euro and eurozone, the European states are now being asked to take a giant leap forward.
Now let's see how much of an appetite there is for this blending of sovereignity in Europe.European authorities have unveiled their vision for the future, which gives them much greater powers. It includes the creation of a European treasury, which would have powers over national budgets...The 10-year plan is designed to strengthen the eurozone and prevent future crises, but critics say it will not address current debt problems...The latest document, titled Towards a Genuine Economic and Monetary Union, was released by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and was drawn up with the presidents of the European Commission, the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank.
Eurogroup president Mr Van Rompuy said it was "not meant to be a final blueprint", but that he expected "to reach a common understanding amongst us on the way forward" at the EU summit.Proposals in the report included:
- Limits on the amount of debt individual countries can take on
- Annual national budgets can be vetoed if they are likely to mean a country exceeding its debt limits
- The eurozone borrowing money collectively "could be explored"
- A European treasury office to be set up to control a central budget and keep an eye on national ones
- A single European banking regulator and a common scheme guaranteeing bank deposits
- Common policies on employment regulations and levels of taxation
- Joint decision-making with national parliaments to give it "democratic legitimacy"One of the big changes under the new proposals is that while in the past eurozone members had to keep their budget deficits below a certain level, a European treasury would be able to force them to make changes to their budgets to keep their deficits down...The document said greater fiscal union could lead to common debt being issued by eurozone countries.Eurobonds, as they are known, would help weaker countries such as Spain borrow more cheaply, but they have so far been resisted in Germany, as they require stronger countries to take on the risk.