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The euro area crisis finds its roots in the credit booms seen in many countries following the introduction of the euro in 1999. Easy credit led to strong growth in a range of sectors, notably housing, as well as higher levels of public spending. Inflation in these over-heating economies was higher than the euro area as a whole. Rising prices led to rising costs and a loss of international competitiveness.
by Charles Jenkins, Writer, Commentator and former Director of Western Europe Country Analysis, Economist Intelligence Unit, London. The EU’s crisis has as much to do with leadership and solidarity as resolving fiscal and debt problems. It is time to dispense with caricatures and write the next chapter in the EU’s ongoing history. And for that, clear and transparent data will be needed.
Secretary-General Angel Gurría outlines the crucial actions that we must take to resolve the euro crisis, strengthen the global financial system and anchor growth in the long-term through structural reform at the 30th anniversary of the International Institute of Finance in Tokyo.
Europe is putting in place a new system of fiscal rules following the euro area sovereign debt crisis and decades of rising government to debt-to-GDP ratios. These include the so-called "six pack" to upgrade the Stability and Growth Pact to a new Treaty incorporating the "fiscal compact".
Poor growth performance over the past decades in Europe has increased concerns for rising income dispersion and social exclusion.
- Economic Survey of the European Union 2012
Weak financial conditions, fiscal consolidation and economic adjustment are restricting demand in the short-term before the long-term benefits on stability and growth are felt, Mr Gurría said. Decisive action to restore confidence and support demand is needed now, he added.
Euro area finance ministers meeting this week need to boost the firepower of the European stability funds to at least one trillion euros in order to restore market confidence, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said today.
Over the last four years we have lived and worked under the impact of the greatest economic crisis of our lifetimes. Recent actions in Europe have cleared a bit the fog but the confidence in the markets is still shaky and the long-term growth perspective of Europe is muted.
Country Notes from OECD Economic Policy Reforms: Going for growth 2011 presenting OECD recommendations for structural reform priorities for individual countries.
The crisis has left a legacy of nearly bankrupt governments. There is little doubt that all countries among the advanced economies are now in urgent need of implementing a credible medium-term fiscal consolidation strategy, argues Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank.