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Davos

Davos seeks end to short-term reforms

Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 02:14

Jan.24 - European leaders call for more medium and long-term economic planning to get the euro zone back on track, and also discussed cracking down on tax evasion at the second full day of sessions at the WEF in Davos. Joanna Partridge reports

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An end to short-term reforms. That was the call from many political and business leaders on the second day of the World Economic Forum in Davos. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the delegates that Europe is committed to a long-term reform programme to get back on track. SOUNDBITE: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying (German): "We are all agreed in the European Union that we want to continue to develop the economic and monetary union into a union of stability in Europe. This is the opposite of a short-term emergency operation, but rather it is a long-term path, with competitiveness on the one hand, and consolidation of state finances on the other." Merkel spoke very much as a European leader, rather than a German one. And her comments chimed in with those of Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who's concerned with tackling unemployment. SOUNDBITE: Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, saying (English): "A lot of the jobs we used to have are actually gone, and the ones that are coming are very often well-paid and you need a lot of skills to be able to be employed and the problem is that large parts of the population have a hard time to actually come in to the labour market." The mood at Davos this year is described by many delegates as subdued optimism. The euro zone survived intact in 2012 - and even through growth is proving elusive, new strong manufacturing numbers from Germany suggest the bloc is moving closer to recovery. But challenges remain - and Europe's cash-strapped governments hope to increase their tax take - by cracking down on avoidance. It was mentioned by both Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron - who appeared to take a dig at Starbucks and other multinationals. SOUNDBITE: British Prime Minister David Cameron, saying (English): "Individuals and companies must pay their fair share. Any businesses who think they can carry on dodging that fair share or that they can keep on selling to the UK and setting up ever-more complex tax arrangements abroad to squeeze their tax bills right down will need to wake up and smell the coffee because the public who buy from them have had enough." European leaders don't entirely agree how to get to recovery But they are united in their desire to reform their economies - somehow.

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Davos seeks end to short-term reforms

Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 02:14

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