EU chief Barroso says euro is strong ‎

EU chief Barroso says euro is strong ‎
# 21 June 2010 09:55 (UTC +04:00)
Baku - APA-Economics. European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso denied that the euro is doomed, saying it is one of the strongest currencies in the world, in an interview published Saturday in Italy’s Il Sole-24 Ore, AFP reported.

Asked whether the common European currency might not survive because of the economic disparities between the various eurozone countries, Barroso replied, "I do not share that analysis."

"The euro is one of the strongest currencies in the world and ranks second as a global currency," he said, adding, "We have a lower debt level than the United States or Japan."

While admitting that certain eurozone countries had problems, Barroso added, "It is in the interests of all members of the zone and countries which do not belong to it that the euro should be strong and credible."

He stressed the "determination of European leaders to do everything necessary to maintain the euro’s stability," pointing to a decision taken Thursday at a Brussels summit to publish the results of tests of European banks’ capacity to stand up to the economic crisis. European leaders had shown themselves capable of adopting measures "not only to strengthen the stability pact but also to make progress on budgetary reform, restructuring and the transparency of the banking system."

Admitting that the EU could have acted earlier, Barroso said that "it is easy to say that with the benefit of hindsight. We found ourselves in an unprecedented situation for the single currency with attacks by the market on the sovereign debts of more vulnerable countries,"

"We needed time because we are a union of democracies and we have no central authority imposing solutions on everyone else," Barroso said, adding that Europeans could be "proud of the results and the resources" devoted to resolving the euro’s problems.

The euro has slid in past months from 1.40 dollars to below 1.20 but has crept up again in recent days to above 1.23 dollars, and analysts said Friday it appeared to be stabilisng.

In a separate interview with the weekly Wirtschaftswoche, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble called for "maximum transparency" in relation to banks, saying the publication of stress tests would help to give confidence to the markets.

"We have to put our cards on the table," he said, adding that the 750 billion euros in guarantees decided by the EU would counter any negative effects of publishing the results.