EU agrees on €315 billion package to kick start economy

The program calls for setting up a European Fund for Strategic Investments in the European Investment Bank to mobilize €315 billion in new investments

EU agrees on €315 billion package to kick start economy

World Bulletin / News Desk

EU leaders agreed Thursday on a €315 billion investment program aimed at kick-starting the bloc’s economic growth.

The program calls for setting up a European Fund for Strategic Investments in the European Investment Bank to mobilize €315 billion in new investments between 2015 and 2017.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker planned the investment package that could create up to 1.3 million jobs in the EU.

''We need to focus on making sure Europe can get more investment, we need more of the capital that is now floating around in Europe and all over the world to stop being a speculation capital, but rather going to the real economy,'' Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lovfen told reporter in Brussels Thursday.

However, Oxfam reported Thursday that most European Investment Bank evaluations showed much lower leverage ratios.

“It’s good news that President Juncker has devised an investment plan for Europe, but it’s not clear how he’ll manage to turn the theory into practice,’’ Natalia Alonso, Oxfam’s Deputy Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, said in a statement.

''Doubts remain over how €1 billion of European money will result in €15 billion being available for investment across Europe,'' Alonso said.

The agreement on the investment package comes after an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in early November, which accused hundreds of major corporations, including Pepsi, IKEA and FedEx of securing secret tax deals with Luxembourg.

The tax deals took place during Juncker's time as prime minister and finance minister of the country.

''Tax evasion by the wealthy costs the EU €50 billion a year, with tax dodging by multinationals costing around €70 billion annually - a problem highlighted by the recent ‘LuxLeaks’ scandal showing the industrial scale of corporate tax dodging,’’ Oxfam said.

Prime ministers and leaders from the 28 EU member states gathered for a two-day summit in Brussels Thursday, which its chairman and Council of the European Union President Donald Tusk announced would end half-a day earlier than planned.

''Today we need more investments, more structural reforms and sound public finances across Europe,'' Tusk said. ''This should help to boost private and public investment, which Europe needs,'' he added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Aralık 2014, 10:12
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