Martin Schulz asks the ECB to directly buy debt from Member States
The President of the European Parliament is visiting Barcelona; coinciding with the European Central Bank Governing Council meeting that is taking place in the Catalan capital. Schulz asked Member States to be less focused on “budget cuts” and start “working together”, otherwise there is a great risk that the EU might end up “failing”. The German politician praised Catalan culture, and reaffirmed his will to push for Catalan being an official language in the Parliament he chairs. Schulz met with the Catalan President, Artur Mas, as well as with Catalan author Jaume Cabré.
Barcelona (ACN).- Coinciding with the European Central Bank (ECB) Governing Council, which takes place in Barcelona on Thursday May 3rd, the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, visited Barcelona. Schulz asked the ECB to directly buy debt from Eurozone Member States, a task to which Germany has been opposing. Schulz, a member of the German Social-Democrats, urged the ECB to adopt this measure and EU Member States to start “working together”, otherwise there is a great risk that the EU might end up “failing”. “If we cannot make the decision making process based on the majority principle and not on unanimity, and make European interests go first, I do not rule out the possibility that the EU, as we know it, might fail”. The President of the European Parliament criticised France and Germany for having acted as the representatives of the entire European Union, neglecting the other 25 Member States. Furthermore, he indirectly criticised the ECB for protecting the banks, but not European taxpayers. It is wrong “that banks and the investment funds they manage receive loans with a 1% interest rate [from the ECB] and later they offer them at 6%, because the money is from taxpayers”, he emphasised. According to Schulz, “sooner or later”, the ECB will have to start buying sovereign debt. Furthermore, he also asked Member States to be less focused on “budget cuts” and start immediately investing to end “Europe’s main problems”: “unemployment” and “social injustice”. Besides, while in Barcelona, Schulz praised his “respect for Catalan culture” and he reaffirmed his personal will to work for Catalan’s recognition as an official language at the European Parliament, as every citizen should be able “to express in their own language” because it is “a democratic right”. Schulz met with the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, as well as with the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean Fathallah Sijilmassi (whose headquarters are based in Barcelona) and the President of the Catalan Parliament Núria de Gispert. The German Social-Democrat also met with the leader of the Catalan Socialists, Pere Navarro. In addition, Schulz wanted to personally meet with the Catalan author Jaume Cabré, of whom the German politician, who used to be a bookseller, is a great fan.
Schulz met with Catalan authorities
The President of the European Parliament met with Catalonia’s two main authorities: the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, and the President of the Catalan Parliament. Mas and Schulz had already met in Brussels on March 21st, when the Catalan President visited European institutions. On Wednesday, Mas and Schulz had a bilateral meeting, some moments before the Catalan President offered a dinner to the European Central Bank Governing Council and the President of the European Parliament.
Earlier, Schulz had met with Núria de Gispert, his counterpart chairing the Catalan Parliament. In this framework, Schulz reaffirmed his will to have Catalan declared an official language of the European Parliament. He also recognised that the main argument for those opposing is mainly economic, but Schulz emphasised that “each citizen should be able to talk in their own language” in the Parliament’s plenary, as it is a “democratic right”. However, he pointed out that the main problem is the Spanish Government is not making the steps to obtain such recognition. Schulz also praised his respect for Catalan culture and he is said to be absolutely aware of the complexity of the relations between Catalonia and Spain. He also added, with an ironic tone, that the President of the European Parliament “is not able to solve” all the country’s problems, but he reaffirmed his will to push to allow the use of Catalan in the plenary sessions. He said he will put the issue again on the agenda, and he will make “all the necessary efforts”. De Gispert thanked Schulz’s “sensitivity” with the issue.
Schulz wanted to meet with Jaume Cabré
The President of the European Parliament is a literature lover, a passion related to his early professional activity, being a bookseller before being the Mayor of Würselen. In fact, Schulz is a great connoisseur of Catalan literature, and a devoted lover of it. Driven by this passion, the German politician asked to meet Jaume Cabré, the Catalan author whose last book is ‘I confess’ (‘Jo confesso’). Cabré and Schulz met on Wednesday morning, and the writer signed several copies of a German translation of his last novel as well as two other of his books ‘Les veus del Pamano’ and ‘Senyoria’. Cabré did not want to speak of the “kind” words he shared with Schulz, however he unveiled that the German politician recently read ‘I confess’ and that Schulz said the book left him “shocked”. Furthermore, Cabré said that Schulz had asked him to make a public reading of this novel before the European Parliament.