Sunday 25 February 2018

Trichet wants single finance ministry for euro region

eurozone

Outgoing ECB chief Jean-Claude Trichet said governments should consider setting up a finance ministry for the 17-nation euro region. Photo: Getty Images
Outgoing ECB chief Jean-Claude Trichet said governments should consider setting up a finance ministry for the 17-nation euro region. Photo: Getty Images

Donal O'Donovan

Outgoing ECB chief Jean-Claude Trichet has called for a single finance ministry to oversee the eurozone.

The call comes as talks between EU bodies, the ECB and the Greek government on extending the Greek bailout come to a head in Athens.

Mr Trichet said governments should consider setting up a finance ministry for the 17-nation euro region. "Would it be too bold, in the economic field, with a single market, a single currency and a single central bank, to envisage a ministry of finance of the union?" he said in Germany yesterday.

However, the head of the ECB admitted that Germany in particular would be unlikely to yield power to a common European finance chief.

Debt markets are becoming more confident that Greece will secure funding for the next two years from the EU and IMF.

Irish, Greek and Portuguese bonds all improved on that hope, while the cost of insuring such bonds against default fell. That is in spite of yet another Greek ratings downgrade.

On a visit to Singapore, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed towards a consensual deal on Greece. She said the European Union remained committed to the euro.

"The economic and monetary union has to be a community of joint responsibility. It is our joint interest to tackle the structural weaknesses of individual countries forcefully and effectively."

Irish Independent

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