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On February 20, Prime Ministers David Cameron, Mario Monti and Mark Rutte sent a letter to EU Council President, Herman Van Rompuy, asking him to help “restore confidence in Europe’s capacity to generate strong and sustainable economic growth.” For Italian daily Corriere della Sera, this is “a new tack taken by Rome, London and The Hague”.

Co-signed by their counterparts from nine countries (Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Ireland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Sweden, and Spain), the document outlines the broad outlines of a plan to ward off a recession caused by austerity: opening up the internal market for services, establishing a common energy market in 2014 and a digital market in 2015, beefing up research and development, opening up to global markets such as India, easing rules for small and medium enterprises, including more women and youth in the labour market, opening closed professions and creating a “robust and dynamic” financial sector.

The signatures of two leaders are missing: Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy. “The part of Europe seeking stimulus is standing up to be counted,” confirms El Mundo, which considers this letter to be -

... the most coordinated response in the EU to the policy of keeping deficits in check as defended by Angela Merkel…. The letter comes at a key moment, when the EU economy is nearly in recession and unemployment is rising. This initiative must be taken under consideration, provided of course that the EU ascertains that governments are doing their homework on controlling the deficit and lowering their debts. Merkel should heed this coordinated rebellion.