Breton: Without EU single market, German and Dutch industries will die

Thanks to the EU single market, Germany conducts 50% of its exports, so if there is no single market, there is no German industry, European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton has said.

“For the Netherlands, it is more than 60%, so without the single market, its industry will die,” Breton said in a joint interview with Greek MEGA TV (Video) and Portugal’s Expresso.

“The internal market cannot be maintained if we save only one or two industries of one or two members states. We are all in the same boat and for us, this boat is Europe”, he underlined.

Asked about the much-awaited European Commission’s Recovery Plan against the devastating effects of the COVID-19 crisis, he said it was important to have both subsidies and loans.

“This is a very specific crisis of such a magnitude. We need to ensure that we have two directions,” he said, adding that it was fair that everyone should have equal access to borrowing capacity.

As for SMEs, which account for 99% of all businesses in the EU and have been hit hard by the pandemic, he stressed that many will need direct grants.

“We have to be very clear. Many small and medium-sized enterprises will need grants, of course it has not been decided yet, but as Commissioner of the Internal Market this is what I am fighting for and I am not alone in this.”

(Sarantis Michalopoulos |

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