Wednesday, August 12, 2015

ALDE gives cautious welcome to Greek settlement

Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament responded to news that a third bailout package had been agreed pending ratification by the Greek Parliament:

"For the first time an agreement is reached that represents more than an accounting exercise. It is a more intelligent approach, based on necessary structural reforms, that could mark a new beginning. Papandreou and Samaras never committed themselves to such in-depth structural reforms. Tsipras shows that he is committed to keep Greece in the Eurozone.

"The new package entails some structural reforms to make Greece competitive again. Closed professions will be opened to competition, the energy market will be deregulated and measures will be taken to re-install the rule of law. If these reforms are implemented, they can bring back trust that Greece's future is in the Eurozone. This certainty will lead to more investments, necessary to make Greece's economy grow.

"I hope the Greek Parliament will support this package. But then the real, and most important part of the work starts. The reforms have to be fully implemented.

"This new approach should go hand in hand with a new, more transparent way of overseeing the implementation process. The last couple of years have shown the work of the Troika was hampered by a lack of transparency.

"During the first meeting of the Conference of Presidents with my fellow Group Leaders in the European Parliament, I will propose that the European Parliament should be given a role in overseeing the implementation of the reform package. A transparent monitoring process, including a periodical debate in the European Parliament on the state of play of the implementation measures,will give confidence to both the creditors and the countries in economic transition that reforms will be duly implemented."

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Ceredigion MP Mark Williams features in new LibDem campaign team

New federal party leader Tim Farron has announced his campaign priorities.

Chaired by Greg Mulholland MP, his Parliamentary Campaigns Team will consist of:

  • Rural Communities and Vice Chair – Mark Williams MP
  • EU referendum – Catherine Bearder MEP and Lord Jim Wallace (Deputy)
  • Mental Health – Norman Lamb MP
  • Immigration – Shas Sheehan
  • Civil Liberties – Alistair Carmichael MP
  • Green Economy – Baroness Susan Kramer
  • Housing – Tim Farron MP

Tim explained:
These are the core issues I want the Liberal Democrats to stand out on and take a lead on.

Sensible, liberal and evidence-based views are already being woefully ignored by the Tory government – so it’s up to Liberal Democrats to make this case.

Whether it’s helping young people in rural areas find work, or ensuring those with mental health difficulties have effective support, our liberal voice is needed now more than ever.

Whether it’s investing in green energy, building the homes we need; understanding the plight of refugees, or ensuring the state can’t snoop on our emails, my party will offer that liberal alternative.

And with David Cameron’s hokey-cokey diplomacy on Europe, the Liberal Democrats will stand up for our country and make the passionate case for Britain to lead, not leave the EU.

This team will work alongside Lib Dems in all chambers, Parliaments and offices to drive forward strong and signature campaigns. I can’t wait to get started.