Finmins eye declaration on euro zone tensions-report

BERLIN, Jan 29 (BestGrowthStock) – Euro zone finance ministers have
prepared a draft declaration on concerns about gaps in
competitiveness and other tensions within the 16-member club at
their next regular monthly meeting, Germany’s Handelsblatt daily
reported on Friday.

The report carried much of the same wording as documents
prepared by the European Commission for the last meeting of euro
zone finance ministers on Jan. 18, which expressed concern over
tensions related to wage levels, capital flows and differing
current account gaps.

Handelsblatt said the draft declaration for the meeting in
mid-February showed officials identifying an “alarming” gap in
the competitiveness of member states.

This “gave cause for serious concern about the functioning
of the monetary union,” the paper added, noting that concerns
did not just focus on Greece’s budgetary difficulties, but also
those of Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus.

Among these, only Ireland had begun to take political steps
to address the matter, the report said.

A second group of countries in the 16-nation bloc showed
“alarming structural weaknesses in the export sector”, the paper
added. These numbered Belgium, France, Italy, Malta, Slovenia,
Slovakia and Finland, it said.

Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Austria were in a
relatively strong competitive position, but they also needed to
improve their public finances, reform labour markets and
strengthen domestic demand, the paper added.

It was unclear whether the ministers would ultimately adopt
the wording of the declaration at their meeting, the paper said.

Stock Analysis

(Writing by Dave Graham; editing by Patrick Graham)

Finmins eye declaration on euro zone tensions-report