Eurogroup meeting: extracts from the arrivals and doorsteps
End production: 16/11/2010 First transmission: 16/11/2010
The euro area Ministers in charge of Economy and Finance met on 16 November 2010, the day after the failed conciliation meeting to try and reach an agreement on the whole negotiation package for the 2011 EU budget.
Only months after saving Greece from bankruptcy in May 2010, the 16-country euro area has been shaken anew by concerns that Ireland will be unable to pay the cost of rescuing its banks. Ireland is paying billions to fix banks brought low by the end of its real estate boom, ballooning its budget deficit and frightening its creditors.
Olli Rehn, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs said the EU, together with the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, are working on the problem.
Ministers will have to reassure lenders and stop a bond market panic that has threatened to engulf other vulnerable countries such as Portugal and Spain.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of Didier Reynders, acting Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Institutional Reforms, and SOUNDBITE (in FRENCH) saying that they must look at the situation in each country on the basis of what their colleagues will be telling them, in Ireland, Greece or Portugal; many things are told from outside, what would be interesting would be to have a precise situation, explained during the Eurogroup meeting; they will see from that what they can do next.
||Arrival of Olli Rehn, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs, and SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH): Ireland is a very different case and I want to say that this is not a matter of the survival of the euro, this is a matter of a very serious problem in the banking sector of Ireland; therefore, we have to keep a cool head, with determination, to work in order to find solutions for the banking sector of Ireland. (2 shots)
||Arrival of Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council
||Arrival of Giulio Tremonti, Italian Minister for Economy and Finance
||Arrival of Wolfgang Schäuble, German Federal Minister for Finance
||Arrival of Christine Lagarde, French Minister for Economy, Finance and Industry, and SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH): if Ireland needs help we will help Ireland, but Ireland has not yet asked for help; the good thing is that we have a mechanism in place, we have a process, we know how to operate, we have learned from the previous crisis, and it is a mechanical problem. (3 shots)
||Arrival of Luc Frieden, Luxembourgish Minister for Finance, and SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH): we will discuss the issues of various countries including Ireland and we will judge on the basis of the information we'll get, but so far Ireland has not asked for any help.
||Arrival of George Papaconstantinou, Greek Minister for Finance, and SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH): as you know with Eurostat's announcement, Eurostat waves always evasions on Greek data which are fully validated, that is the first point; the second point is that, starting from a higher 2009 point, during 2010, Greece did the biggest consolidation effort ever done in the EU: 6 percentage points of the GDP; no one has ever done this before; 14 billion euro taken off the deficit; so we are starting at the end of 2010 from a higher point than what we originally wanted; however we will fully respect the 2011 targets and we intend to take any measure necessary in that respect. (2 shots)
||Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, Portuguese Minister for Finance
||Arrival of Tonio Fenech, Maltese Minister for Finance, the Economy and Investment
||Arrival of Jan Kees de Jager, Dutch Minister for Finance