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EU on track for modest economic recovery, says EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici

EU economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici talks to Euronews about the modest economic recovery in the EU and the positive impact of migrants on the European economy.

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EU on track for modest economic recovery, says EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici

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The European Union is on track for a modest economic recovery despite new challenges to growth, according to EU economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici. He also told Euronews that migrants and refugees could help boost the EU economy.

When asked by our Greek journalist Efi Koutsokosta if he was satisfied with the modest economic recovery, the French commissioner said that the economy needed to be more dynamic.

Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for economics:
Unemployment is decreasing but what we see is that it decreases too slowly or that the figures remain too high.

Euronews/ Efi Koutsokosta:
The only member state that is still in recession is Greece. You just came back from the country. Do you think that they are on track to reform and to implement the programme or not?

Pierre Moscovici/ Commissioner for Economy and Monetary Affairs:
It’s clear that today there is good cooperation with Tsipras government. I met Mr. Tsipras for more than an hour and it was good. It’s better than, I would say, ever in the past years, with previous governments. It was not the case at the beginning of the year but now, since July we are in a solid cooperation and it is very positive. There are still some reforms that first have to be adopted, the first set of milestones and the second set of milestones and they also need to be implemented. But I think that the Greek government and the Greek people must be conscious that if reforms go on, growth will be back.

Euronews/ Efi Koutsokosta:
And do you think that there is a possibility of getting results within the deadline so that, for example, the banks can be recapitalized before the end of this year and of course the opening of the debt discussion?

Pierre Moscovici/ Commissioner for Economy and Monetary Affairs:
It’s not that it is possible, it’s necessary. And the message I gave in Athens was, we must conclude the first review of the programme before the end of the year, we must conclude the bank recapitalization process before the end of the year. If we do both things correctly, then we will also be capable of starting the discussion on debt which I know is the main issue for the Greek government and the Greek people.

Euronews/ Efi Koutsokosta:
Another issue that could have an impact on the European economy and of course it affects the countries hit by the crisis, is the refugee crisis. Is the Commission positive to what some member states have already asked for regarding a kind of flexibility in the Stability and Growth Pact?

Pierre Moscovici/ Commissioner for Economy and Monetary Affairs:
President Juncker said that we would respect the Stability and Growth Pact but that there could be exceptional circumstances that have to be checked with the governments and countries which are concerned and then we could also take exceptional decisions.

Euronews/ Efi Koutsokosta:
Could you be more specific on that?

Pierre Moscovici/ Commissioner for Economy and Monetary Affairs:
I can’t.

Euronews/ Efi Koutsokosta:
You can’t, ok. Are you in discussions with the Eurogroup?

Pierre Moscovici/ Commissioner for Economy and Monetary Affairs:
We share the same view. Jeroen Dijsselbloem also expressed himself in the same direction but we need to work on data and we expect data form the countries and governments.

Euronews/ Efi Koutsokosta:
Do you agree with what Mr. Dijsselbloem proposed recently about the countries that are not very keen to accept and receive refugees, to cut some of their EU funding?

Pierre Moscovici/ Commissioner for Economy and Monetary Affairs:
First, we have to see the global positive impact of the refugee crisis.

Euronews/ Efi Koutsokosta:
And in the long term?

Pierre Moscovici/ Commissioner for Economy and Monetary Affairs:
It’s not in the long term. We are checking data as soon as 2015, 2016 and 2017. This impact is slightly positive, 0,2%, 0,3% of GDP and it’s of course higher in the welcoming countries. We need to have a global approach and we’ll discuss that as well in the Commission as well as with the Council.

Euronews/ Efi Koutsokosta:
Commissioner, thank you for being with us.