"Advantages and Benefits of the Euro - Time for Assessment" Conference: extracts from the speeches by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Eurogroup, and Joaquín Almunia
End production: 15/04/2008 First transmission: 15/04/2008
Adressing the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)'s high-level conference on "Advantages and Benefits of the Euro - Time for assessment", Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance of Luxembourg and President of the Eurogroup, said he expected all 27 EU Member States to be members of the single currency within the next twenty years, even those who have a derogation now. His address was followed by a speech by Joaquín Almunia, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs, in which he stressed that structural reforms constituted a key priority for European Monetary Union countries, as the unwinding of global imbalances had been lurking for some time and might be taking shape with the US downturn, and given that the ageing of the European population significantly raised the stakes for adjustment.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) building (2 shots)
||General view of the EESC session
||Dimitris Dimitriadis, President of European Economic and Social Committee
||Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance of Luxembourg and President of the Eurogroup, (in FRENCH) saying that the US economy will recover more rapidly than they are thinking today, although he is convinced that the current financial crisis will last until 2009
||Jean-Claude Juncker (in FRENCH) saying that he foresees that in fifteen to twenty years all Member States will be members of the Eurozone, even those who have a derogation now; he is convinced that the Euro will speak English
||Cutaways (3 shots)
||Joaquín Almunia, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs, (in ENGLISH) saying that structural reforms constitute a key priority for EMU countries, as the window of opportunity to decide and develop these structural reforms may close for two reasons; first, developments might be less benign in the next decade; the unwinding of global imbalances has been lurking for some time and may now be taking shape with the US downturn; second, ageing significantly raises the stakes for adjustment; given that the baby-boom generation will begin to retire in the coming years, they must act swiftly to raise productivity so as to boost growth and ensure the sustainability of the welfare systems
||Cutaways (4 shots)