Expectations Rise for EC Summit
Spanish premier's tour shows that, with exception of Britain, members back common policies. EUROPEAN COMMUNITY
SPANISH Prime Minister Felipe Gonz'alez M'arquez has found reason for hoping the European Community summit he hosts in Madrid next Monday will result in steps forward in the 32-year-old process of European integration. The increasing isolation of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has raised expectations of reaching an agreement at the European Council meeting in Madrid June 26 and 27. Her Conservative Party suffered major losses in elections to the European Parliament last week.
The success of the summit is very important to Mr. Gonz'alez, who led his party to power six-and-a-half years ago, when he was only 40, and has since shown signs of aiming for the role of European statesman. Spain has held the EC presidency for the past six months.
On Tuesday, a day after returning from a whirlwind tour of the other 11 EC capitals, Gonz'alez was reported to have expressed confidence about moving forward on a coordinated community-wide economic and social policy, despite British reluctance.
Gonz'alez told former French President Val'ery Giscard D'Estaing that he expected an accord on the key issue of the European Monetary System (EMS), although the EC's ``social charter'' on workers' rights might have to wait until the next summit in Paris this December.
The monetary system fixes exchange rates among the various EC currencies, providing a measure of stability that facilitates intra-community transactions.
A report issued by EC President Jacques Delors calls for all 12 EC members to join the EMS by July 1990, as a preliminary step toward a common EC central bank and a single European currency.
Gonz'alez unexpectedly made Spain the ninth member of the EMS a week ago Friday, in a move seen as putting increased pressure on Britain at the summit. The sudden commitment to a common European economic policy was the more remarkable for having come only 3 years after Spain joined the EC. Britain joined in 1973.