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Socialist and Democrat Ministers tackle big topics: Greece, Migration and the Euro

European Affairs Ministers of the Party of European Socialists (PES) have met to discuss the big issues currently on the European agenda. All eyes this week are on Greece - the PES Ministers were clear - the future of Greece is in Europe with the Euro. They underlined the necessity to reach a fair deal including progressive reforms for Greece.

The humanitarian emergency taking place at Europe’s southern border is a common European problem to which it is our moral duty to act. A strong comprehensive European response is urgently needed to prevent future tragedies at sea, protect migrants’ lives, tackle the flow of thousand refugees to our shores and address the root causes of immigration. PES Ministers agreed that common problems requires common solutions and the European Commission agenda on migration and its concrete measures, envisaging to relocate several thousands of refugees over a period of 2 years, is a good first step forward.

The Ministers welcomed the report from the five Presidents on the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) as it shows commitment to reform the EMU. However they agreed to work to ensure that social issues affecting Europeans after the crisis are adequately addressed – and that economic and social sustainability are prioritised over austerity.

Michael Roth – German Minister of State for Europe said: "Greek people have suffered tremendously from the crisis. It is for them and for all other European citizens that we want to find a sustainable solution.

That solution has to be based on the principles that we must preserve the unity of the Eurozone, end the austerity-only approach, and engage in the bold and necessary progressive reforms. The Eurozone must remain united through this, with Greece a firm member.’ He added ‘The situation in Greece only illustrates the urgent necessity to reform Europe’s monetary union. The rules governing our financial system should be made in the interests of protecting people, not just the markets."

The meeting also attended Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Lubomir Zaorelek, Italian Deputy Secretary for European Affairs Sandro Gozi, Luxembourgish Minister of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy Nicolas Schmit, Maltese Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech, Swedish State Secretary for International and EU Affairs Hans Dalghren, Slovak State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Peter Javorcik, First Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, Secretary General of the S&D Group in the European Parliament Javier Moreno, Vice President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament Enrique Guerrero, and Head of EU Policy Unit at the PES Constantin Kourkoulas.

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