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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 30th, 2012 at 12:43:19 PM EST
IMF, EU urges France to pull back on deficit cuts - France - RFI

The head of the IMF in France Edward Gardner has urged France to consider its 2013 budget targets in a broader European context.

"The credibility of the medium term orientation policy" is more important than a specific deficit target, Gardner said.

Gardner advised that loosening the criteria would "be more effective, more credible in a coordinated fashion" across the 17 nation eurozone.

The IMF and the EU Commission expect the French public deficit to amount to 3.5 per cent of GDP in 2013.

President François Hollande's Socialist Party has set a goal of three per cent, the eurozone limit, down from 4.5 per cent in 2012.

The target is based on a 2013 growth estimate of 0.8 per cent that economists consider very optimistic.

Friday's third-quarter figures put growth over that period down from 0.2 to 0.1 per cent.

"The IMF is beginning to understand that the French situation has become dangerous," economist Marc Touati at the ACDefi consulting group said, pointing out that unemployment is climbing and the economy is still struggling.

European Economic Affairs Commissioner Ollie Rehn believes France needed more reforms rather than increased austerity.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 30th, 2012 at 01:11:28 PM EST
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IMF, EU urges France to pull back on deficit cuts - France - RFI
The International Monetary Fund and the European Commission have called on France and other eurozone countries not to fixate on deficit reduction targets which risk worsening the region's debt crisis.

Who Could Have Predicted?

by Bernard on Mon Dec 31st, 2012 at 04:29:35 AM EST
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This is just fantastic:
The head of the IMF in France Edward Gardner has urged France to consider its 2013 budget targets in a broader European context.

"The credibility of the medium term orientation policy" is more important than a specific deficit target, Gardner said.

...

European Economic Affairs Commissioner Ollie Rehn believes France needed more reforms rather than increased austerity.

"Once you have a credible medium-term budget strategy, backed up by reforms, you can have a slower adjustment," he told French daily Le Monde.

But, as we reported here the other day...
"In the past 30 years, France has not been able to pass a balanced budget. State debt rose to an unacceptable 1.7 trillion euros (ê2.2 trillion) in 2011. It is our duty to reverse this," French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici wrote in the German business daily Handelsblatt.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2012 at 04:40:19 AM EST
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Mosko got the first memo.

Now he needs to get the second.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2012 at 05:21:16 AM EST
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Merkel's rival Steinbrueck says euro zone austerity too severe | Reuters

(Reuters) - Former German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck, who is running against Chancellor Angela Merkel in next year's election, said austerity measures being imposed on struggling euro zone countries were too severe.

In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS), Steinbrueck said austerity measures were pushing some countries to do too much too soon. He said there would be massive protests in Germany if such a heavy dose of austerity were to be imposed so quickly.

"The savings measures are too severe, they're leading to depression," said Steinbrueck, 65, a Social Democrat (SPD) who was finance minister from 2005 to 2009 in Merkel's right-centre grand coalition government.

"Some societies are being forced to their knees. Budget consolidation is in some ways like medicine. The right amount can save lives while too much can be lethal."

Steinbrueck noted that some countries were being forced to make spending cuts that amounted to five percent of their gross domestic product (GDP).

"In Germany that would amount to 150 billion euros (of spending to be cut)," Steinbrueck said. "You can imagine what the protests would be like on German streets with that."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 30th, 2012 at 03:16:52 PM EST
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by paving on Sun Dec 30th, 2012 at 07:55:28 PM EST
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Is Steinbrueck turning into a crass Keynesian in his old age?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 30th, 2012 at 08:27:12 PM EST
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Peer Steinbrück Stumbles in Effort to Unseat Angela Merkel in Germany - NYTimes.com

In another memorably odd line in the interview, Mr. Steinbrück said he did not find money "erotic."

Mr. Steinbrück is hardly the first politician to earn speaking fees, but the sum raised eyebrows, particularly in a left-leaning party whose members still call each other "comrade" at official events. And it made his calls for higher pay for the chancellor all the more surprising.

With reports showing a shrinking German middle class, a raise for the chancellor, who currently receives about $390,000 a year in total compensation, would not seem like a particularly winning campaign issue. In the interview he pointed out that many bank managers earned more than the head of Germany's government.

maybe that would be normal in italy but in germany... surreal.

sometimes poltics seems like a room full of little boys you know shoudn't be playing with matches.

monti and merkel may be terrible leaders, but they do come across as adults, if delusional ones.

i'm starting to see why mig's predictions about merkel's political longevity make sense. :(

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2013 at 08:27:46 AM EST
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Ireland takes over Council presidency | European Voice
Government wants to focus on economic recovery during its seventh turn in the EU's rotating presidency.

Ireland takes over the rotating presidency of the European Union's Council of Ministers from Cyprus tomorrow (1 January 2013), its seventh turn since it joined the EU 40 years ago.

Enda Kenny, Ireland's prime minister, has said that the presidency will focus on the EU's economic recovery and that he is determined to deliver "solutions" - on banking union, trade deals, pro-growth policies and a deal on the Union's long-term budget.

Ireland's government, led by Kenny's centre-right Fine Gael party and with centre-left Labour as junior partner, has also made it clear that it will run an austerity presidency that goes easy on pomp (and will serve tap rather than bottled water).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 30th, 2012 at 03:31:18 PM EST
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If Ireland had a government with half the self-interest of the ECB they would threaten to take the presidency hostage unless they get debt reduction (and bottled water).

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Jan 1st, 2013 at 03:12:25 AM EST
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The press in Europe (5/5): Embedded in the Brussels bubble | Presseurop (English)

The Belgian capital is the heart of the EU power machine, where dozens of journalists try to cover the activities of all the institutions. But as an Australian newcomer founds out, they have too much information and too little time to make sense of what's going on. Excerpts.

Every day for the past couple of months I have been parking my computer in the press area of the European Commission - literally a few steps away from the large press conference room. I'm surrounded by a multinational (and multilingual) army of casual reporters, taking advantage of the free wifi and what appears to be subsidised coffee (€0.90 a cup - how is that possible?).

While the capital-C correspondents working for the big mastheads are around the corner at the International Press Centre or the Residential Palace, us freelancers are squeezing into the nooks and crannies of a crowded media landscape.

Being the only Australian around and having no obvious affinity with the other anglophones, I have been adopted by a group of Italians, who promptly informed me that my human rights were being violated every time I ate at the Commission's canteen (the European Council across the road is much better).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 30th, 2012 at 03:33:54 PM EST
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