Press conference by Olli Rehn on the Fiscal Sustainability Report 2012
On 18 December 2012, Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, gave a press conference on the Fiscal Sustainability Report 2012, at the European Commission in Brussels.
Macroeconomic imbalances in the euro area and in the EU expanded significantly in the run-up to the financial crisis. The imbalances manifested themselves in significant and persistent divergence in the current accounts of EU Member States. Although the current account of the euro area, as a whole, remained broadly balanced, current account deficits deteriorated significantly in some Member States, while surpluses increased substantially in others. From the macroeconomic viewpoint, the deficits in the euro area were thus financed by the surpluses in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Austria and Luxembourg. Outside the monetary union, Denmark and Sweden also ran important surpluses. A similar accumulation of external imbalances was observed on a global scale. For example, the United States ran persistent current account deficits, while China and Japan registered persistent surpluses. Notwithstanding the intra-euro area rebalancing underway, the current account surpluses and deficits recorded by some EU countries are still high.