EU's Barroso State of the Union speech

Reuters

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - Following are highlights from European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's State of the Union speech in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

ON ECONOMIC UNION:

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"We need to complete our monetary union with an economic union. It was an illusion to think that we could have a common currency and a single market with national approaches to economic and budgetary policy."

"In the coming weeks, the Commission will ... present a proposal for a single, coherent framework to deepen economic coordination and integration, in particular in the euro area. This will be done in a way that ensures the compatibility between the euro area and the European Union as a whole."

ON GREECE AND THE EURO AREA:

"Greece is, and will remain, a member of the euro area. Greece must implement its commitments in full and on time. In turn, the other euro area members have pledged to support Greece and each other."

ON GREEK ECONOMY AND LENDING:

"A program of 500 million euros to guarantee EIB (European Investment Bank) loans to Greek SMEs is already under way. The Commission is also considering a wider guarantee mechanism to help banks lend again to the real economy."

ON EUROPEAN FINANCIAL STABILITY FACILITY (EFSF) AND EUROPEAN STABILITY MECHANISM (ESM):

"Once the EFSF is ratified, we should make the most efficient use of its financial envelope. The Commission is working on options to this end.

"Moreover we should do everything possible to accelerate the entry into force of the ESM (European Stability Mechanism). And we trust that the European Central Bank, in full respect of the Treaty, will do whatever is necessary to ensure the integrity of the euro area and to ensure its financial stability."

(Editing by Rex Merrifield)