German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the audience in her keynote speech at the World Economic Forum that Europe should press ahead with political reforms.
Speaking in Davos on Thursday, Merkel outlined the case for healthy competition with a degree of stability as key for Europe in the long term: “We’re all agreed in the European Union that we want to continue to develop the economic and monetary union into a union of stability in Europe. This is the opposite of a short-term emergency operation, but rather a long-term path, the building blocks of which are structural reforms for more competitiveness on the one hand, and consolidation of state finances on the other hand.”
Standing as a counterpoint to the World Economic Forum, the annual Public Eye Awards were also held in Davos.
This year, Goldman Sachs and Shell won the naming and shaming prizes, taking the critics and public votes respectively.
William Black, a campaigner and former bank regulator, said: “Goldman Sachs is notorious for a reason. And because Goldman Sachs has that manque morality. And manque morality is, ‘Damn right we screwed our customers, and we’ll do it again tomorrow’.”
The investment bank was singled out by the campaigners for what they called “a glaring case of greed for profit”. Shell was also highlighted via an online poll for its “highly risky search for fossil fuels in the fragile Arctic”.