“European policy needs new directions toward a recovery,” Sapin said outside the Finance Ministry, adding that fiscal decisions must be compatible with growth, investments and the decisions of the European Central Bank (ECB) for small and medium-sized enterprises “which must be supported because they create the employment we so greatly need.”
He noted that the second half of this year will be crucial for Greece and Europe, adding that the Italian EU presidency will be a very good opportunity to put European policy on a new foundation, with new directions.
Regarding Greece, the French Finance Minister said that the efforts of the Greek people have brought results. While the situation remains difficult and painful, he added, the Greek economy has stabilised and there are signs of recovery.
Hardouvelis, on his part, underlined that Greece will press ahead with structural reforms. While noting that people must accept these reforms “as their own,” he also pointed out that Greeks must see their income increase for this to happen. “We are facing a period of strong growth,” he predicted.
Commenting on economic developments in Europe, the Greek Finance Minister stressed the need for investments and discovery of financial resources. “We are interested in a strong euro that can replace the dollar in the future,” he said.