Barack Obama and Gordon Brown’s plans to increase spending on economic recovery have been described as “a road to hell” by the European Union presidency.
Mirek Topolanek: Mr Topolanek warned the European Parliament that the Obama administration’s stimulus package and financial bail-out ‘will undermine the stability of the global financial market’ Photo: GETTY
Internal European divisions are growing over the Prime Minister and US President’s strategies to fight the economic crisis just one week before a critical G20 summit in London.
Mirek Topolanek, the Czech prime minister who is running a caretaker EU presidency after the collapse of his government on Tuesday, highlighted European splits over fiscal stimulus plans promoted by Mr Obama, with Mr Brown’s support.
Mr Topolanek warned the European Parliament that the Obama administration’s stimulus package and financial bail-out “will undermine the stability of the global financial market”.
“All of these steps, these combinations and permanency is the way to hell,” he told Euro-MPs in Strasbourg
“We need to read the history books and the lessons of history and the biggest success of the EU is the refusal to go this way.”
His comments reveal European disunity just eight days ahead of the G20 summit of the world’s industrialised countries in London next Thursday.
Mr Brown will be hosting the event and trying to contain sharply diverging EU positions at the summit, which will also be the forum for Mr Obama’s first visit to Europe as US President.
The comments are a major setback for Mr Brown as they come just one day after he addressed the same audience of MEPs to urge more government spending by the EU and US to help pull the world out of its financial and economic depression.
“We can together deliver the biggest fiscal stimulus,” he said to the parliament on Tuesday.
Writing in newspaper articles published across Europe on Wednesday, Mr Obama implicitly criticised countries, such as Germany, France and the Czech Republic, that are opposed to further stimulus measures.
“All of us are going to have to take steps in order to lift the economy,” he wrote.
“We don’t want a situation in which some countries are making extraordinary efforts and other countries aren’t, with the hope that somehow the countries that are making those important steps, lift everybody up.”
By Bruno Waterfield in Brussels
Last Updated: 12:35PM GMT 25 Mar 2009
Source: The Telegraph