THE EU’s top bureaucrat yesterday claimed that only a fully-fledged super-state can save the euro.
Jose Manuel Barroso, the Commission’s President, said the deepening economic crisis in Europe was a “fight for integration”.
His outburst was seen by opponents of the march towards a federal Europe as exposing the ultimate ambitions of the Brussels bureaucracy.
Mr Barroso spoke out amid yet more desperate efforts to stop debt-ridden Greece going bust and wrecking the single currency.
“What we need now is a new, unifying impulse, a new federalist moment – let’s not be afraid to use the word,” Mr Barroso told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
“We are confronted with the most serious challenge of a generation. This is a fight for the jobs and prosperity of families in all our member states.
“This is a fight for the economic and political future of Europe. This is a fight for what Europe represents in the world. This is a fight for European integration itself.”
But one critic, Tory MP Douglas Carswell, said: “This is a fight for Europe’s fat cats to cling on to their privileged positions and their taxpayer-funded fiefdom.
“It is not in the interests of the millions of people around Europe who have been oppressed by Barroso and his ilk’s currency scam.
“The sooner the euro breaks up, the better. People need a currency that works for them.
“And who voted for Barroso to lord it over us, anyway? He is an unelected bureaucrat who is overseeing a system that is falling apart.”
In his speech, Mr Barroso said: “The right way to stop the negative cycle and strengthen the euro is to deepen integration, mainly in the euro area. This is the way to go.”
Nigel Farage, of the UK Independence Party, told Mr Barroso in the parliament: “We all know that Greece is going to default.
“You can’t say you weren’t warned: You were all told that Greece should never have joined the euro.” He added: “Unless Greece is allowed to get out of this economic and political prison, you may well spark a revolution in that country.”
Many senior politicians fear a Greek debt default could destroy the euro.
As the crisis deepened yesterday, US President Barack Obama and China’s Premier Wen Jiabao both warned EU leaders to get a grip.
Poland’s finance minister went so far as to say: “If the eurozone were to collapse or to disappear, then the European Union itself might not survive, that is possible.” Mr Barroso was last night pressing for the issuing of “euro bonds” as a solution to the crisis. The measure would allow the 17 euro currency nations to collectively borrow cash.
But his plan was being opposed by Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel amid fears in her country that eurozone debt is spiralling out of control.
Instead, Mrs Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy were offering the Athens government more bail out cash in return for a pledge to stick to its spending cuts.
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