EU finance ministers are being told not to let their country’s national debts get out of control as they spend to try to stop the recession deepening.
That warning came at an Ecofin gathering in Brussels. It was delivered by the Czech Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, whose country currently holds the EU presidency. Joaquín Almunia, the Commissioner responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs, responded that the message had been taken on board: “The ministers agreed with the Czech presidency and the Commission about the need to combine the use of fiscal policy as an instrument of stimulus in this situation of negative growth and lack of demand with medium- to long-term perspective of sustainable public finances.” Almunia said now is the time to think of an exit strategy for this recession so that afterwards the region can be more competitive and with more resilient economies. For the moment the ministers have agreed not to create any new fiscal stimulus plans.