Back Europe's recovery, Danish PM urges rest of world
by Daniel Mason
The rest of the world should stand ready to support Europe's recovery when it begins to bounce back from the economic crisis next year, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has told an audience in China.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum's annual New Champions event in Tianjin the northeast of the country, Thorning-Schmidt acknowledged that Europe was "very challenged" and the situation was "far from satisfactory".
But she said progress had been made in resolving the crisis. "Europe has already done a lot and we should not talk the efforts of European leaders down," she said. "Even though the steps we have taken are slow and the way we take decisions may not be pretty, we must recognise that we have come very far and the results we have produced would have been unthinkable only a year ago."
She urged business leaders: "When Europe shows the first signs of recovery, which we will do next year, the rest of the world should push this movement. It will not just be for the benefit of Europe but also for the world. Invest in Europe, trade more with Europe, believe that Europe will recover."
At the same event, Latvia's Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis hailed the European Central Bank's pledge last week to purchase unlimited sovereign bonds from struggling eurozone countries that request aid, subject to certain conditions. "The ECB must be cautious and fiscal discipline must not be forgotten – but having the ECB in the background should remove the questions in the market," Dombrovskis said.
"The very fact that there is a credible firewall will reduce the market pressure," he said, adding that decisions taken by European leaders – such as the introduction of strict new rules to maintain fiscal discipline, and proposals for a banking union that are due to be unveiled tomorrow – "should lead the eurozone out of the crisis".
Meanwhile Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told the television channel TVE that he had made no decision on whether to ask for assistance from the eurozone bail-out funds and ECB. "I am absolutely convinced that everyone will be reasonable, but I insist that we haven't taken a decision," he said. "I will look at the conditions. I would not like, and I could not accept, being told which were the concrete policies where we had to cut."
Elsewhere, Germany's Constitutional Court has confirmed that it will make its ruling on whether the new euro bail-out fund – the European Stability Mechanism – violates the country's constitution tomorrow. It has rejected a bid by German member of parliament Peter Gauweiler to delay the decision in light of the ECB's latest proposals.
She is living in dreamland - eurozone recovery next year, you are having a laugh. After Spain and Italy, France is next to fall by the wayside.
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