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17th Feb 2019

Brussels calls for EU-wide response to financial crisis

  • A joint European action is important for restoring confidence in the markets, says Mr Barroso. (Photo: EUobserver)

Days ahead of a meeting of the European members of the G8 for talks on the current financial turmoil, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso urged European governments to increase their co-operation to counter the crisis, and called for international oversight of financial markets.

The challenge Europe is currently facing is not only "to inject liquidity into the markets," Mr Barroso told a news conference in Brussels on Wednesday (1 October).

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"We also need to inject credibility into the markets – in terms of European and of global governance of the financial system," he said.

And in order to restore confidence in the markets, a joint European action is "particularly important," the commission president added.

Specifically, the president called for "a further strengthening of the supervision structures at the European level."

Mr Barroso also wants to see a reform of the current accounting rules and reforms to ensure the consistency of deposit guarantee schemes across Europe.

Echoing calls from many quarters complaining that those responsible for the crisis have profited from their errors, he also called for an increasing in the transparency of executive pay.

The European financial system 'can cope'

Despite the challenges however, he said: "Our system can cope, the European financial system has the ability to respond," echoing a statement made earlier today by Jean-Claude Juncker, the chair of the group of EU countries using the euro.

"The Europeans can have confidence in their banking system," Mr Juncker told French radio Europe 1 on Wednesday morning, adding that he did not believe any government would let a "big European bank" go bankrupt.

Luxembourg's premier also called for a stronger pan-European response and for the EU to take the leadership in countering the financial crisis.

The statements of both Mr Barroso and Mr Juncker come just days before they are to meet the European leaders of the G8 group of leading industrial nations – France, Germany, Italy and the UK – together with the president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, on Saturday (4 October) in Paris.

Besides conducting talks on the financial crisis and on possible solutions, the leaders are to use the meeting to prepare for a global international summit, which the French EU presidency is hoping to hold before the end of the year.

The topic is also expected to figure high on the agenda of the EU summit of heads of state and governments from 15-16 October in Brussels.

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