Milos Zeman, the President of the Czech Republic made a speech to the European Parliament plenary in Strasbourg on 26th February 2014.
He positioned himself as ‘a strong supporter of the euro’ and said that the Czech Republic should adopt the euro as soon as possible. In a press conference after the speech, he said this could be achieved in a period of between 2 to 5 years.
President Zeman spoke in favour of the harmonisation of social and environmental issues and taxation across Europe which he said was opposed by some business groups. Whilst speaking of common European rules, he referred to Henry Kissinger’s supposed remark ‘What is the phone number of Europe?’ He also emphasized the importance of tackling the high unemployment rate in Europe.
He began his speech by criticizing the ‘crazy’ movement of the European Parliament between Brussels and Strasbourg, which received a loud applause from many MEP’s whilst others remained silent.
Giorgio Napolitano, the Italian President made a speech to the European Parliament plenary in Strasbourg on 4th February 2014.
The Italian president Giorgio Napolitano was on an official visit and made a speech to the European Parliament on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Project Spinelli (see commemoration stamp/envelopes from today and from 1984).
In front of the hemicycle, soldiers were raising the Italian flag.
Spinelli was one of the ‘Founding fathers of the European Union’, alongside Konrad Adenauer and Winston Churchill.
Napolitano said that the main source of disenchantment for the European project lies in the deteriorating living conditions of European citizens and especially the rise of unemployment.
He said there are still very tough political battles to be won against ongoing egoism and national narrow mindedness. The speech was interrupted by members of an Italian right-ring political group, shouting and holding up banners ‘Euro Basta’.