Tuesday 25 July 2017

What Europe's economy needs is a good shove - not a gentle push

Push comes to shove: EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and Michael Noonan talk it out Photo: REUTERS/Andreas Manolis
Push comes to shove: EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and Michael Noonan talk it out Photo: REUTERS/Andreas Manolis
Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

I am tapping this column out from a European Commission building in Brussels. Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the commission, is hosting a session on his €315bn investment plan designed to snap the continent out of its economic torpor.

Europe's economy badly needs a shove, and a big one at that: its plodding recovery over the past couple of years has been very slow in making an impression on many of the problems the continent is facing - from excessive unemployment to excessive debt.

Does Juncker's plan amount to a big shove? No. It is a small shove and one that is too gentle because it is spread (necessarily, perhaps) over a long period.

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