Watson - Financial crisis does not mark end to free and open markets

October 21, 2008 2:54 PM

As French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivered a passionate defence of more European unity in Strasbourg today in the face of the multiple fronts of a financial crisis, global warming and Russian military incursion into Georgia; local Liberal Democrat MEP Graham Watson, recalled that the financial crisis does not signal an end to free markets:

"Since the fall of the Berlin Wall 50 million European citizens have been lifted out of poverty because the free movement of goods, services, persons and capital is the key to Europe's prosperity.

What we are witnessing now is what happens when markets lack transparency and effective supervision. In recent weeks the global finance system has stared into an abyss and we need concerted action to pull it back."

My group welcomes the European Council's consolidation of the measures agreed by the euro area. They have alleviated the pressure on interbank markets. Now central banks need to steer interest rates downwards to alleviate recession".