SYDNEY, Sept 6, 2011 (AFP)
European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said he is confident the euro will survive and that the European Union will emerge stronger from the current economic crisis.
Speaking as European markets tumbled on renewed fears over the risk of recession and eurozone debt, Barroso expressed confidence that the fiscal consolidation and structural reform efforts underway would work.
“I think Europe will get out of this crisis stronger because now, in Europe, everybody from the left to the right agrees that we need structural reform to become more competitive,” he said late Monday on a visit to Australia.
“We are now making progress, establishing a more integrated euro area, and at the same time, nowadays there is a consensus in Europe about the need to make (the same kinds of) fiscal consolidation and structural reform that are indispensable for our competitors.”
Barroso added that while the euro remained weak, as investors move to shun riskier assets, he believed there was no threat to the currency from Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.
“I’m absolutely sure it will survive,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“There is full commitment of all Europe-area countries to the financial stability in the eurozone and in fact the euro remains a very stable and strong currency.”
The Portugese EC chief was also upbeat about Germany continuing to help bail out Greece, despite a German constitutional court set to rule this month on financial aid to Greece and the eurozone rescue fund.
Germany is the biggest contributor to eurozone rescue packages, accounting for 27 percent of the total, and any rejection of its aid would be a major setback for easing pressure on Greece and other heavily indebted eurozone countries.
“The German taxpayers and the German public in general is very much pro-European,” he said.
“Constitutional courts in our member states, they are independent, but I don’t expect any legal obstacle to what is something that is needed to do in terms of integration.”