Dombrovskis on board new EU treaty

  • 2011-12-14
  • From wire reports

RIGA - In order to strengthen fiscal discipline in the Constitution, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) says he is prepared to talk and work with the opposition, reports LETA. The prime minister expressed his willingness for discussions on Dec. 9 as he was in Brussels for talks on Latvia’s intentions to implement the new intergovernmental treaty among the 26 members of the European Union, which aims at ensuring fiscal discipline.
Currently, relations with Harmony Center are tense, taking into account “the activities of the Linderman and Usakovs’ blocs;” however, the prime minister acknowledges he is ready to talk with the opposition.

Dombrovskis explained that the EU intergovernmental treaty envisages a budget deficit no greater than 0.5 percent of gross domestic product. This budget deficit requirement will be implemented with the help of a transition period, which is needed, since many EU member states are currently having problems with their budget deficits.
All EU states, with the exception of Great Britain, have agreed in principle to take part in the eurozone’s new treaty, tightening budgetary discipline, an EU statement said on Dec. 9.

This agreement on the new intergovernmental treaty among the eurozone and several other European Union member states is likely to create a two-speed Europe, however. In this case, Latvia must remain among the faster-developing countries, said Dombrovskis. He emphasized that Latvia is interested in joining the agreement, which envisages that the eurozone will attempt to move towards stricter fiscal discipline.

Commenting on whether Latvia’s involvement could be decided by Saeima or with the help of a referendum, Dombrovskis explained that it is still necessary to discuss which legislative mechanisms to use.
The prime minister emphasized that during the EU summit, the eurozone countries agreed how to move on and provide help to the countries affected by the euro area crisis. These countries will have access to 500 billion euros, and the eurozone is also ready to lend 200 billion euros to the International Monetary Fund to ensure additional resources to overcome the crisis.

European Union leaders on Dec. 9 abandoned a bid to ensure that all 27 member states would change the bloc’s treaty together to combat the debt crisis. The talks will now go forward seeking treaty change only for the eurozone and others aiming to join.