European & International News

The Eurozone exits recession: At what cost?

[Brussels 14 August, 2013] The Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner for the European Union, Finish politician, Ohli Rehn, has today released news that the Eurozone has left the recession.

He stated in Brussels, "today’s figures, when combined with other recent positive survey data are encouraging and suggest the European economy is gradually gaining momentum. They support the European Commission’s 2013 spring forecast and its projections for a subdued, mild recovery in the second half of 2013.

The data also supports, in my view, the fundamentals of our crisis response: a policy mix where building a stability culture and pursuing structural reforms supportive of growth and jobs go hand in hand.

This slightly more positive data is welcome - but there is no room for any complacency. Self-congratulatory statements suggesting "the crisis is over" are not for today.

There are still substantial obstacles to overcome: the growth figures remain low and the tentative signs of growth are still fragile; the averages hide important differences between Member States, a number of Member States still have unacceptably high unemployment rates; the implementation of essential but difficult reforms across the EU is still in its early stages … So there is still a very long way to go.

A sustained recovery is now within reach, but only if we persevere on all fronts of our crisis response: keep up the pace of economic reform, regain control over our debt, both public and private, and build the pillars of a genuine economic and monetary union."

Further information

The GDP flash estimates for the second quarter of 2013 for the euro area and the EU27 have just been released by Eurostat(STAT/13/122). Euro area and EU27 GDP are both up by 0.3% this quarter.

Auditing austerity

Following this announcement, a reflection on the Price of Austerity, as expanded upon by the European Women’s Lobby is timely. The priorities for spending cuts, for cost cutting and for making do with less have hit women disproportionately. It is vital that these priorities are revisited and reviewed.

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