Euro zone finance ministers have welcomed the single European currency’s recent fall against the dollar, but France’s Christine Lagarde said it is still as much as 20% overvalued. She and other ministers also criticised exchange rate volatility.
Those comments came at the monthly meeting of the ministers and the European Central Bank.
In the past year, the euro has surged against the dollar as US interest rates were cut. It hit a record high of $1.6018 on 22 April, since when it has fallen 3.8% as markets took a more optimistic view of the United States economy amid signs of a slowdown in the 15 countries using the single currency.
The euro zone finance ministers also criticised corporate bonuses. The meeting’s chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said: “We believe that the excessive levels of bosses’ pay that we’ve seen in a number of euro zone countries and sectors are absolutely scandalous and we will continue to look at ways to fight these excesses through taxes and other ethical approaches.”
European finance ministers from outside the euro zone later joined the meeting to discuss wider issues, including how to better combat tax dodgers and tax havens.