Arab Today, arab today poland to focus on economic growth in eu head role
Last Updated : GMT 09:22:01
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Poland to focus on economic growth in EU head role

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Poland to focus on economic growth in EU head role

Warsaw - AFP

Poland, which takes over the EU\'s rotating presidency on Friday, will focus on kickstarting economic growth across the 27-member bloc, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has said. He told foreign journalists Wednesday this was key to reinforcing European solidarity -- now being harshly put to the test by the Greek debt crisis. \"Our first priority is to restart growth in Europe because we think that from this much else will follow -- greater solidarity, greater generosity in the neighbourhood, a greater openness to enlargement,\" Sikorski said. \"We are not in the eurozone but we are trying to be part of the solution,\" he said, referring to the sovereign debt crisis battering the 17-member single currency bloc. \"I wish many eurozone countries had done what Poland has done years ago, which is to impose a constitutional ceiling on indebtedness,\" he said. Poland\'s constitution caps public debt at 60 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). \"We came very close to that ceiling this year and that forced us to cut spending,\" Sikorski remarked. Greek lawmakers on Wednesday passed an austerity plan aiming to cut 28.4 billion euros ($40 billion) from the government\'s spending gap by the end of 2015 in line with demands by the EU and the IMF to release emergency finance needed to keep Athens from defaulting. Among Poland\'s other priorities during its first six-month stint as EU president after joining the bloc in 2004, will be to push ahead with enlargement. Warsaw is optimistic the 27-member bloc will conclude entry talks with candidate Croatia before the year\'s end. After six years of tough talks, last Friday EU leaders gathered at a summit in Brussels called for \"all necessary decisions for the conclusion of the accession negotiations with Croatia by the end of June 2011\" -- a de facto authorisation for Zagreb to join the world\'s biggest market. A September summit in Warsaw of the EU\'s Eastern Partnership is expected to push ahead Ukraine\'s bid to conclude an EU association and trade agreement. \"We are on schedule. If we proceed at the pace we are at now, it should happen,\" Sikorski said.

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