Minister of State Werner Hoyer was in Lisbon for political discussions on Monday and Tuesday (21/22 June). Among those he met were Portuguese Foreign Minister Luís Amado and Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos. The talks focused on current issues in European policy, including the stabilization of the eurozone, the realization of the European External Action Service and aspects of the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
In an interview with Portugal’s “Diário Económico” today (22 June), Minister of State Hoyer said:
“The austerity packages approved by the governments of Europe are a big step forwards in positioning Europe in the globalization process. For a long time the level of debt in various countries, including Germany, has continued to develop in a manner which is no longer viable. We are now directly affected, and that’s why we are reacting. This is both a challenge and an opportunity.
What we need is growth in the EU, growth based on competitiveness on the global markets. To attain this, we have shielded some areas from cuts: education, research and development, new technologies. It is in precisely these areas that we must position ourselves on the global market.
The Federal Government is convinced that the euro is good and sound. We will fight for the single currency, because the euro is one of Europe’s biggest strengths in the globalization process.
The Portuguese have made good use of the opportunities inherent in accession to the EU. Portugal’s membership of the European Union is a great success story. Like other countries in the EU, Portugal now has problems with its budget deficit and level of debt. But I see that those in positions of responsibility are in strong agreement about how to tackle these problems. I am optimistic that the Portuguese government and parliament will continue to take the steps needed to bring Portugal out of the crisis.”