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1993 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview in Copenhagen

Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep interview in Copenhagen on Sunday 20th June 1993.


QUESTION:

Prime Minister, how do you react to suggestions that Mr Mates's position is now untenable?

PRIME MINISTER:

I am here to talk about the European Council, there is a great deal to be done. There are across Europe around 17 million Europeans unemployed, I think we have to address the question why that is and what we have to do. And there are a range of other serious things we have to discuss: subsidiarity clearly is in the middle of it; enlargement, I want to see some dramatic approaches towards the enlargement problem in the Community, it is clearly the way we must go. So we have quite a substantive agenda in front of us.

QUESTION:

Do you think you are going to be pushed on this question of economic and monetary union, do you think that you will have another battle with the federalists?

PRIME MINISTER:

I am not sure, to be honest I doubt that very much, I do not think so. It may be that some people will raise the matter but our position about that is quite clear, I have made it quite clear and I will reiterate it here. But I think the problem that rests in the front of most people's mind is the problem of unemployment in the Community and the prospects for growth. If one looks across the whole of the European Community, the United Kingdom is coming out of recession and is beginning to grow, but most of the European economies are going in the other, direction and that is a source of great worry. We are overall in the Community becoming less competitive compared to Japan and the United States and that is something we have to reverse.

QUESTION:

On Bosnia, would you accept the criticism that has been made that Bosnia should not go into separate states as a result of Serb aggression?

PRIME MINISTER:

We are going to have quite a substantive discussion on Bosnia I think over the next couple of days, Foreign Ministers will be meeting tonight, they will be briefed by David Owen, I think the position will be a little clearer at the end of that briefing. Quite a lot has happened both on the ground and in terms of diplomacy over the last few weeks. What everyone wants to do is to find a settlement that is satisfactory, that will stop the killing, that will stop the fighting and a settlement that will last. That will not readily or easily be obtained, but I think we will have to look pragmatically at what is possible, I look forward to meeting Douglas Hurd after his meeting tonight and the discussion we will have tomorrow.

QUESTION:

Rasmussen has said that later interest rates will be on the agenda, do you see any room for concerted action on interest rates after this meeting?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think perhaps I am the one member of the Community here that perhaps is least likely to respond to that. The problems of interest rates across the European Community I think are self-evident, that Europe as a whole would benefit from lower interest rates I think is beyond doubt, but that is a matter that must be discussed amongst those who find themselves locked together.

QUESTION:

Do you think that the Conservative Party should return the funds that it has received from Mr Asil Nadir?

PRIME MINISTER:

Norman Fowler has made the position absolutely clear, any money that was dishonestly obtained and dishonestly donated to the Conservative Party is not wanted by the Conservative Party. If it proves to have been dishonestly obtained and dishonestly remitted to us then of course we will return it. The Conservative Party exists on funds raised within the constituency and honestly and freely donated to the Party, that is the way for a democratic party to survive, it is the way we survive, it is the way we have behaved in the past. These are matters that happened some time ago, if it turns out that money was illegally donated then it will be returned.