Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Web users react to Ferguson grand jury decision

Read more

WEB NEWS

USA: Online reactions to the death of Tamir Rice

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Israel: Business is booming in gun shops

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Monica Macovei, Former Romanian justice minister

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Inconsistency was the only constant with evidence in Michael Brown's case'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Nigeria: Two female bombers kill at least 30 in Maiduguri

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Sarkozy: 'My first challenge will be to bring my political family back together'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Tunisia’s Essebsi says ready to form pluralist govt

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Tunisia’s Essebsi ‘personifies old regime’, says rival Marzouki

Read more

France

'Eurozone crisis is over,' Hollande tells Japan

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-06-09

“The crisis in the eurozone is over,” French President François Hollande told an audience in Japan on Saturday, despite crippling unemployment and ongoing economic hardship across the continent.

The crippling debt crisis that has ravaged Europe for years is finished, France’s President Francois Hollande has declared, despite high unemployment and lingering recession on the continent.

“You must understand that the crisis in the eurozone is over,” Hollande told an audience in Japan during a three-day state visit.

Hollande’s comments on Saturday came just a week after thousands of people took to the streets of European cities to vent their anger at the “troika” of international powers whose insistence on austerity is blamed for worsening their economic hardship.

There were angry scenes in Frankfurt near the European Central Bank, and in Spain and Portugal—two of the countries that have received bailouts to help them plug fiscal holes.

The troika of international lenders—the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank—have imposed strict conditions on countries such as Greece and Portugal in exchange for bailout funds.

In Greece and Spain the unemployment rate has reached 27 percent, while Portugal’s is forecast to climb to a record 18.2 percent this year.

The figures for youth unemployment are much higher.

Hollande, who was in Tokyo on the first state visit by a French president in 17 years, said Japan and Europe needed to cooperate to forge an economic partnership that would be good for both.

“I want to play a major role in getting an agreement between Europe and Japan,” he said, a reference to free trade negotiations that have recently been given the nod.

A Japan-Europe partnership “would be economically good for Europe and good for Japan.”

During his visit, Hollande was generous in his praise of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bid to reignite growth in the torpid Japanese economy, a policy dubbed “Abenomics”, which he said Friday was “good for Europe”.

The prescription blends big fiscal spending, easy money and structural reforms intended to make it easier to do business in Japan.

In the six months since Abe came to power, Japan’s stock market has boomed and the value of the yen has slid, giving hope to the country’s beleaguered exporters and sending his approval ratings soaring.

For some in austerity-weary Europe, Abe’s recipe seems much more appealing than more of the same budget-cutting that Germany—the continent’s paymaster—insists on.

On Saturday, Hollande said Japan and Europe face the same challenges and must follow the same path to regain confidence and boost growth.

“We must act quickly and efficiently,” he told his audience. “This is what Shinzo Abe wants for Japan, this is what I want for France.

“If we work together in Europe and if you, the Japanese make an effort to participate in this new dynamic, together we can change things.

“Seeing Japan committed to a policy of growth is encouraging. We need stable, sustainable and controlled growth.”

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-06-09

  • FRANCE - JAPAN

    Hollande’s faux pas saved by translator, but not Twitter

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Hollande discusses French foreign policy

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Euro zone needs exchange rate policy, says Hollande

    Read more

COMMENT(S)