EU finance ministers warn against significant economic risks

15:15, April 10, 2011      

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European Union (EU) finance ministers Saturday warned against significant risks to Europe's economic growth, saying it was not the time for complacency.

"The crisis is not yet fully behind us and there are significant risks on the horizon," said Hungarian Minister for National Economy Gyorgy Matlcsy, who chaired the two-day informal meeting of EU finance ministers.

Matlcsy told reporters the ministers agreed there were both short-term and long-term challenges ahead for Europe. In the short term, there was the economic imbalance at the global and EU level and, in the long term, there was the need to increase competitiveness.

The ministers decided all EU member states must go ahead with economic reforms and fiscal consolidation.

And to safeguard financial stability in Europe, the current bank stress test must be conducted "with necessary rigor" to give a clear picture of the banking sector, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn told the same press conference.

He called on all EU member states to have "the needed financial backdrop" in place to support possible restructuring and recapitalization of those banks which may fail the tests.

The ministers agreed during their first-day meeting to offer financial aid to Portugal but stressed the aid would be accompanied by strict conditions. And Portugal would have to undergo further deficit cuts to get the support, expected to be about 80 billion euros (116 billion U.S. dollars), from the EU and the International Monetary Fund.

Source: Xinhua
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