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EU summit on Haiti, economy and climate change

EU summit on Haiti, economy and climate change

The European Union's president said Monday that a Feb. 11 summit of EU leaders will discuss funding for Haiti's reconstruction, ways to boost Europe's economic growth and how the region can push for global agreement on climate change.
Herman Van Rompuy will lead talks among leaders of the EU's 27-nations Thursday for the first time since he took office Jan. 1
In a letter to EU leaders, Van Rompuy laid out the agenda but did not mention the EU's biggest crisis, as markets and the euro currency tumble on fears Greece could default on its debt.
EU officials have been silent on the prospect of bailing out Greece, saying they are confident the country can reduce its massive deficit in just three years with a tough austerity program.
Investors are not so sure, sending the euro currency sliding to an eight-month low and hiking the cost of Greek borrowing _ and also government bonds in other eurozone economies with high deficits, such as Portugal and Spain.
Van Rompuy said Thursday's meeting would focus on economic policies for the years to come.
"All European economies are facing major challenges," he said. "Our structural growth rate is not high enough to create jobs and sustain our social model."
EU officials often criticize countries such as Greece, Portugal and Italy for moving slowly to make labor rules more flexible and open up markets for goods and services, which could help growth.
Van Rompuy said EU nations would discuss long-term help for Haiti, where a devastating earthquake killed tens of thousands. Rich nations will discuss Haiti's reconstruction at a conference in New York in March. He also said the EU should improve its emergency response.
On climate change, Van Rompuy said EU leaders will talk about future tactics for talks at the global level after Europeans failed to get strong U.S. and Chinese support for world greenhouse gas reductions.
He said the EU needed to insist "that major players face up to their responsibilities in a globalized world so as to ensure a level playing field."


Updated : 2021-10-21 11:23 GMT+08:00