European Council: wait and sink?

By Jérôme Creel, Paul Hubert and Francesco Saraceno

The European Council meeting being held at the end of the week should have been spent, according to the wishes of the French authorities, on renegotiating the European Fiscal Compact adopted on 2 March 2012. However, renegotiation has not been on the agenda. Alas, the Fiscal Compact does need to be re-opened for debate: it should be denounced for being poorly drafted, and its overly restrictive character needs to be reviewed; ultimately, the text should be amended. The focus of the debate on the structural deficit rule, which is unfairly described as the “golden rule”, is wide of the mark in so far as it is the rule on the reduction of public debt that is the more restrictive of the two rules included in the Fiscal Compact. This is the rule that demands to be discussed, and urgently, in order to avoid sinking deeper into a contagion of austerity plans that are doomed in advance… Continue reading “European Council: wait and sink?”

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Must balancing the public finances be the main goal of economic policy

By Henri Sterdyniak

The financial crisis of 2007-2012 caused a sharp rise in public deficits and debt as States had to intervene to save the financial system and support economic activity, and especially as they experienced a steep drop in tax revenues due to falling GDP. In early 2012, at a time when they are far from having recovered from the effects of the crisis (which cost them an average of 8 GDP points compared to the pre-crisis trend), they face a difficult choice: should they continue to support activity, or do whatever it takes to reduce public deficits and debt? Continue reading “Must balancing the public finances be the main goal of economic policy”

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Should the Stability and Growth Pact be strengthened?

By Jérôme Creel, Paul Hubert and Francesco Saraceno
The European fiscal crisis and the ensuing need to reduce the levels of public debt accelerated the adoption of a series of reforms of European fiscal rules in late 2011. Two rules were introduced to strengthen the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). Given that many Member States in the euro zone have structural deficits and public debts that exceed the thresholds under consideration, it seemed worthwhile to assess the macroeconomic implications of compliance with these fiscal rules by four countries, including France. Continue reading “Should the Stability and Growth Pact be strengthened?”

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Regaining confidence in the euro: Three pressing issues

By Jérôme Creel

In a communication on European economic governance before the European Parliament’s ECON Committee on Monday, 17 October 2011, three pressing issues were identified in order to save the euro and improve its management. Continue reading “Regaining confidence in the euro: Three pressing issues”

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