Wednesday

29th Mar 2017

Euro has weathered debt storm, Barroso says

  • Barroso: good news, but many investors still think Greece might go (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

Business investors are confident the eurozone has weathered the worst of the sovereign debt crisis, according to European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso.

In a speech given to Portuguese diplomats in Lisbon on Thursday (3 January), the former Portuguese leader said that "the perception of risk in the eurozone has disappeared."

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He added: "Investors have understood that when European leaders commit themselves to doing everything to safeguard the integrity of the euro, they mean business."

His speech comes after Portugal earlier this week became the latest EU country to break ranks on economic policy.

Its president, Anibal Cavaco Silva in his New Year address condemned what he described as the "social injustice" of the country's bailout terms and promised a court enquiry on the subject.

For his part, Barroso acknowlegded that his native country is facing "a true ... social emergency."

Amid criticism that EU-mandated austerity has caused a spike in unemployment across the Union, he conceded that the commission is "willing to analyse the completion of programmes and to make adjustments and do the fine-tuning necessary to minimise social costs."

But Barroso's remarks reflect a growing belief among EU officials that market pressure on the single currency is starting to abate.

Last month, German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble also told reporters the euro has survived the worst of the crisis, following a buy-back deal on Greek bonds.

The optimistic tone was bolstered by a survey out this week.

A poll of 778 investors in December by research group Sentix showed that the business community by and large expects the single currency to stay alive.

One in four respondents said at least one country will leave the euro in 2013. But the figure this is down from one in three in November and from 73.3 percent in June 2012.

Greece remains the country deemed most likely to leave the 17-country curtecy bloc despite the buy-back scheme.

Over one fifth of respondents sill believe that it will leave the eurozone, while 10 percent of those surveyed said Cyprus is the second most likely to go.

But in a statement accompanying the poll, Sentix commented that "investors do not expect a sudden euro end for the above mentioned countries anymore."

SMEs lack support in EU financial plan

The European Commission's plan for a capital markets union is said to be aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, but many could end up being left out in the cold.

Stolen Russian billions ended up in EU states

Illicit money flowing out of Russia ended up in almost every single EU state, an investigation has found, posing questions on the integrity of Europe’s banking systems.

News in Brief

  1. UK delivered its Article 50 letter to the EU
  2. Support for Germany's anti-EU party fading
  3. Turkish intelligence not welcome in Germany
  4. US senate approves Montenegro’s Nato bid
  5. Scottish MPs give go ahead to seek referendum
  6. Uber pulls out of Denmark over new taxi-regulation
  7. EU court validates sanctions on Russia's Rosneft
  8. Luxembourg to team up with Ireland in Apple tax appeal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. The Idealist QuarterlyCan Progressive Stories Survive Our Post-Truth Era? After-Work Discussion on 6 April
  2. ACCAG20 Citizens Want 'Big Picture' Tax Policymaking, According to Global Survey
  3. Belgrade Security ForumCall for Papers: European Union as a Global Crisis Manager - Deadline 30 April
  4. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  5. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  6. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  7. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  8. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  9. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  10. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  12. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans