Candidates’ quotes (11 April)

Juncker (EPP), Schulz (PES), Verhofstadt (ALDE), Bové & Keller (Greens) and Tsipras (GUE/NGL). Sources : Wikimedia Commons (EPP; Superbenjamin; White House; David Monniaux; Sarah Benke; FrangiscoDer). For licence to reuse, check the relevant links.

Juncker (EPP), Schulz (PES), Verhofstadt (ALDE), Bové & Keller (Greens) and Tsipras (GUE/NGL).
Sources : Wikimedia Commons (EPP; Superbenjamin; White House; David Monniaux; Sarah Benke; FrangiscoDer). For licence to reuse, check the links (see picture on “candidates’ quotes main page).

Alexis Tsipras (GUE/NGL)

Ecology: “The ecological transformation of production encompasses the widest possible range of policy domains, such as: a tax reform, which would change the logic of taxation, the elimination of environmentally harmful subsidies, the preservation of biodiversity, the replacement of conventional energy with renewables,  the organic farming and sustainable transportation, as well as the rejection of any transatlantic trade agreement which does not guarantee high social and environmental standards.” (Tsipras’ programme)

A European debt conference: “Our proposal is inspired from one of the most perceptive moments in European political history. Such was the London Debt Agreement of 1953, which essentially relieved Germany of the economic burden of its own past, helped rebuild the post-war German democracy and paved the way for the economic success of that country. The London Debt Agreement required from Germany to pay, at the very most, half of all its debts […] spreading the repayment over a period of 30 years.” (Tsipras’ programme)

Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE)

Ukraine: “The European Union should urgently offer to substantially boost the OSCE observer mission in eastern Ukraine, as the risk of continued Russian-sponsored activities increase.” (ALDE party website)

Hungary: “Orban’s mandate to reign is expanded until 2018. Results show there is a need for a reform-minded centrist alternative.” (Twitter)

Data retention & fundamental freedoms: ““We Liberals and Democrats believe it to be essential that personal freedoms are safeguarded. The fight against terrorism is clearly very important but should not undermine our fundamental rights. It is vital that these rights are defended. It was clear that this directive did not achieve this balance.” (ALDE party website)

José Bové & Ska Keller (Greens)

Austerity & jobs: “We have to stop the current regime of austerity measures, because that is making more people unemployed. It questions social rights and education. The Greens proposed to invest in sustainable jobs that would still be here in 20 years.” (Keller)

Martin Schulz (PES)

Crisis:“The crisis is not over. The crisis will be over when we will have won the fight against youth unemployment.” (Debate on France 24)

Growth: “”A policy of budgetary discipline is necessary and unavoidable. But this policy must be combined with an investment policy of growth and employment, especially for young people in Europe. Believing that only slashing public expenses will reassure markets is wrong. This must be combined with a voluntary investment policy.” (Debate on France 24)

Debt: “The problem is the vicious circle between sovereign debt and bank debt [see the situation in Spain].” (Debate on France 24)

Future Commission: “The Commission must open its doors, […] make public who does what on what basis [and] involve citizens in the decision-making process.” (Debate on France 24)

Ukraine: “Ukraine needs elections and support to maintain the unity of the country.” (Debate on France 24)

Jean-Claude Juncker (EPP)

Commission President: “As Commission President, I want to reunite Europe. I am a bridge builder.” (Facebook)

Economy:“You can stimulate the economy with other means than public expenditure. […] Public spending must become more efficient.” (Debate on France 24)

Turkey: “Those who block Twitter are not ready for EU membership” (Facebook)

Growth & Jobs:“The EU must not take care of everything but must deal with major issues. […] The Commission should focus primarily on growth and employment over the next five years.” (Debate on France 24)

Free movement:“Free movement is a basic principle of the EU. […] Questioning this freedom is out of question. […] It is up to Member States to properly tackle abuse.” (Debate on France 24)

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