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Van Rompuy rows back from EU `survival crisis` remarks
Date 19/11/2010 13:46  Author webmaster  Hits 1005  Language Global

19 NOV 2010

By Leigh Phillips

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy has rowed back from his strong words from Tuesday (16 November) over the "survival crisis" of the euro and the European Union, saying his words had been misinterpreted.

On Thursday, speaking to a group of politicians from the centre-right European People's Party in the European capital, he said: "A reference to the 'survival crisis' of the spring ... was wrongly interpreted as also referring to the present situation. Everybody in the audience who listened carefully to my words, was surprised by reactions afterwards."

"A radical declaration from a cautious man would really have been a surprise."

Earlier in the week, the European president had shocked commentators and the markets when he told a Brussels think-tank audience: "We're in a survival crisis," adding that if the eurozone does not survive, neither would the EU.

"We all have to work together in order to survive with the eurozone, because if we don't survive with the euro zone we will not survive with the European Union," he said at the time. "But I'm very confident we will overcome this."

In the wake of the flurry of concerned reaction he had not expected, he was eager to put minds at ease on Thursday.

"The euro is the most visible and the most palpable sign of the European common destiny. What happens with pensions or debt in one country, may affect the economy in another country. In good times and in bad times," he said.

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