The Slovenia Times

Schulz on PR Tour in Slovenia



Schulz, who will conclude his two-day visit today, told MPs that it is not surprising that people no longer feel the appeal of the EU, which has spent hundreds of billions of euros for stabilisation only to leave young people unemployed.

He called for a fairer system where not only losses but also profits are shared with the people, which he feels can also be secured through a banking union, which will follow the principle of "banks save banks and not banks make losses and need be saved by citizens".

Schulz, who is the candidate of the European Socialists (PES) for the new head of the European Commission, identified tackling youth unemployment as a key project of the EU, seeing an end to the credit crunch as a key step, with a focus on SMEs, which create the most jobs while at the same time having most problems accessing loans.

"I'm in favour of us saying: if the ECB gives loans to banks at an interest rate of 0.25%, then these banks also need to invest this money into the real economy."

Schulz stressed that everything needs to be done to prevent young generations that had nothing to do with the crisis paying for it.

In this context, he also sees the need for budget discipline, however not to an extent that makes growth through which debts are repaid impossible.

Schulz also touched on Ukraine, calling for dialogue and a prevention of armed conflict and a splitting of the country.

And although the EU has lost some of its appeal, it remains a community of rights and values and a place where the principles of mutual respect and of right over might apply, which is not not the case in the Crimea, he said.

He noted that while national identities need be preserved in the EU, Europe needs to be added to these identities if the EU wishes to make its way globally and stand united, for instance also in talks with Russia.

Schulz repeated many of his main points when responding to questions from MPs, while he declined answering questions concerning Slovenia's internal political issues, including a question by Jože Tanko of the Democrats (SDS) on why Slovenia's SocDems "strongly oppose condemning communist crimes in Slovenia" while supporting anti-totalitarian resolutions in the European Parliament.

Asked at the subsequent press conference why his rivals in the race for the new EU Commission head Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE) and Jean-Claude Juncker (EPP) seem to be saying the same things as him about necessary future steps, Schulz said that he cannot help if the two agree with what he says.

Schulz, who was endorsed by the new left-leaning party Solidarity in the morning for EU Commission president, also met PM Alenka Bratušek and President Pahor today, while meetings are moreover scheduled with the opposition and the SocDems.


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