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Monday, January 16, 2012

Herman Van Rompuy: Europe urgently needs an "anti-recession strategy"

by Calculated Risk on 1/16/2012 09:24:00 AM

Press remarks by President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy

For the short term, we discussed the fiscal compact treaty and the crisis mechanisms. There is a number of things I can assert today:

- we will agree on the new fiscal compact treaty at the end of this month and we will sign it early March;

- our crisis mechanisms are being strengthened. The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will enter into force in July 2012, earlier than planned. We will also assess the adequacy of the EFSF/ESM’s size without delay. ...

In the meantime, we should re-focus on growth and job creation. Growth friendly consolidation and job friendly growth are what we need! Growth should be enhanced by strengthening supply and by stimulating demand. We must urgently put in place an anti-recession strategy, mobilizing means and efforts at the Union level and - most importantly - at Member States level.

... our foremost concern should be stimulating employment. We need more, better and new jobs. Today, over 23 million people are unemployed in Europe. The economic slowdown risks increasing this number. Many of them are young. Women are particularly affected. The young are Europe's future and we need to give them hope and a decent perspective of joining the labour market.
And on Greece from CNBC: Greek PM: Two Deals But No Drachma Ahead
In his first and only interview since taking office, Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos ... expressed complete confidence in his country’s ability to get through what is likely to be a harrowing two months as it approaches a 14.5 billion euro debt repayment in March.

Two different financial deals must be negotiated before then. ... The first of the two deals is with the country’s private sector lenders—banks, pension funds, and hedge funds around the world that own 206 billion euros worth of Greek government debt. ... Greece must then come up with a 4-year economic plan that is acceptable to the IMF and the EU, in order to secure the 130 billion euros and fund its operations. That deal with the IMF and the EU must also get done before the March repayment deadline.
The Greek deal with creditors must be worked out over the next week or so. The second deal must be completed in February.

The EU summit meeting is on January 30th and will focus on growth.