Against a background of world stocks in freefall, euro zone finance ministers have held one of their regular meetings in Brussels, discussing how much damage might be done to the region’s economy by problems of the US.
European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia tried to put the best face on things as he said: “The excessive volatility of the market is not good news, but I hope they will become more quiet, because – at least in Europe – the economic fundamentals of our economies are sound.”
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, who is one of those who has to decide whether interest rates should be cut to stimulate the region’s economy, kept quiet as did Jean-Claude Juncker, the usually talkative chairman of the Eurogroup, the forum where finance ministers confer in Brussels with Trichet.
Junker recently said the European Commission may lower its growth projection for this year to 1.8% from 2.2% previously. That would be the slowest pace since 2005.