Left must show 'credibility' - Gilmore


Parties of the centre left in Europe had to prove to voters that they had “credible answers” for dealing with the economic crisis, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said today.

In an address to a conference of leading European social democrat politicians on the issue of "Progressive Governance", the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade said the mood in Europe was shifting towards the centre left: “But we have to build now, on that success.”

Chairing a session entitled "Steering Europe out of the Crisis", former Northern Ireland secretary Peter Mandelson asked the participants to state whether they felt there was “something inherently flawed” about the euro zone’s original design.

British shadow chancellor Ed Balls said the best analogy was with a group of people who decided to engage in the “really dangerous” practice of off-piste skiing.

“You’ve never done it before and you’re going down the mountain tied together. One of your members falls: what do you do?

“You can’t stop halfway down the mountain and start having a discussion about why this person hadn’t been doing more fitness training for the last five years.”

Seventeen member states were involved: “I wouldn’t say it was inherently flawed, but the scale of the political task was monumental and hugely underestimated.”

He added: “I don’t think the scale of the challenge was ever properly taken on board by the political process.”

Swedish shadow finance minister Magdalena Andersson said that although there “faults in the construction of the euro and the euro zone”, she initially thought Sweden should join but she was not sure now.

Austrian Hannes Swoboda, leader of the Socialists and Social Democrats in the European Parliament, said there were “many flaws and mistakes” but it would be “a disaster” to withdraw from the euro zone.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.