Barroso urges EU members to increase stimulus spending if they can
European Union (EU) member states should spend more on stimulus measures if they can, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Wednesday, Xinhua reported.
"If member states are in a position to do more, they should do more," Barroso told a press conference one day before EU leaders meet in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the 27-nation bloc's response to the financial and economic crisis.
But Barroso also stressed it is the key to carry out the stimulus packages already announced.
"What we need now is not words, but action. We need implementation of the recovery plan," he said.
Ahead of a G20 summit in London early next month, the United States is calling on the EU to spend more on stimulus measures.
Washington has pledged some 5.5 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to stimulate demand, while the EU's spending is equivalent to between 3.3 percent and 4 percent of GDP.
Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman warned on Tuesday that the EU's fiscal stimulus spending is disappointing and may not be enough to help the economy out of a deep recession.
Barroso, however, rejected the claim that the EU has not spent enough.
"We are doing more than anyone in the world on that matter," he said, adding that the EU's heavy spending on unemployment and other welfare benefits should be considered.
"Others should increase their effort in that way as well -- that would be a good contribution for the global recovery," Barroso said.
According to a draft communique to be agreed at the EU summit, EU leaders are unlikely to announce additional stimulus before they figure out the effectiveness of the current measures.