As the President of the United States gets ready for his first trip to Europe, he’ll have to prepare humself for disunity over his budget and economic plan — from the European Union.
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek told the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, that Obama, ” talks about a large stimulus campaign by Americans. All of these steps, their combination and their permanency, is a way to hell.”
Czech prime minister Mirek Topolanek addresses deputies at the European Parliament.
The “biggest success” of the European Council so far this year is a refusal to follow the same path, he said.
“We need to read the history books and read with it the lessons of history,” Topolanek said.
But Britain’s Pime Minister, Gordon Brown, meanwhile, is trying to convince Obama to spend even more……
Here is how Gordon Brown faced the heat at the EU:
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown reacts, as he listens to the debates, Tuesday March 24, 2009 at the European Parliament, in Strasbourg, eastern France. Brown called for global standards of financial regulation and insists every continent must pour enough funds into their economies to beat the crisis.(AP Photo/Christian Lutz)
From The Telegraph (UK)
Mr Brown used a speech to MEPs in Strasbourg on Tuesday to exhort the European Union to take the lead in rehabilitating the world economy and forging a new “moral” capitalism. He called for an end to offshore tax havens, tougher financial regulation, and international limits on remuneration.
But his message risked being overshadowed by a warning from Bank of England Governor Mervyn King that Britain may not be able to afford further fiscal stimulus measures.
Mr King told the Treasury Select Committee that the UK’s deficit levels were already “very large”.
“I think the fiscal position in the UK is not one where we could say, ‘well, why don’t we just engage in another significant round of fiscal expansion’,” he added.
The remarks were seen as embarrassing to Mr Brown, who has successfully pressed the case for wealthy countries to bring forward significant fiscal stimulus packages to refloat the economy.
A top European Union politician on Wednesday slammed U.S. plans to spend its way out of recession as “a way to hell.”
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, told the European Parliament that President Barack Obama’s massive stimulus package and banking bailout “will undermine the stability of the global financial market.”
A day after his government collapsed because of a parliamentary vote of no-confidence, Topolanek took the EU presidency on a collision course with Washington over how to deal with the global economic recession.
Most European leaders favor tighter financial regulation, while the U.S. has been pushing for larger economic stimulus plans.
Topolanek’s comments are the strongest criticism so far from a European leader as the 27-nation bloc bristles from recent U.S. criticism that it is not spending enough to stimulate demand.
They also pave the way for a stormy summit next week in London between leaders of the Group of 20 industrialized countries.
The host of the summit, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, praised Obama on Tuesday for his willingness to work with Europe on reforming the global economy in the run-up to the G-20 summit.
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