Re­forms needed to fos­ter en­trepreneur­ship, French Cen­tral Bank gover­nor tells Al­fred Sant

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

French Cen­tral Bank Gover­nor François Villeroy de Gal­hau told Mal­tese MEP Al­fred Sant that Europe needs re­forms fos­ter­ing en­trepreneur­ship and em­pha­sised that trust is essential in the cre­ation of new in­vest­ments in Europe.

Mon­sieur Gal­hau, ad­dress­ing the Eco­nomic and Mon­e­tary Com­mit­tee of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, said Europe needs much more trust, oth­er­wise it is per­ceived as a “trans­fer Union”, which goes only one way. “We have the next gen­er­a­tion cre­at­ing start-ups but we need re­forms fos­ter­ing en­trepreneur­ship in Europe. If this is your point, I agree with you,” Gal­hau told the Mal­tese MEP who asked him to elab­o­rate on the rea­sons lead­ing to the lack of in­vest­ments in Europe, a state­ment is­sued by Dr Sant’s of­fice said.

The Mal­tese MEP re­ferred to the French Gover­nor’s idea of a fi­nance min­is­ter for the eu­ro­zone. “Don’t you think that un­less he/she has fed­eral pow­ers, such an ap­pointee will not have suf­fi­cient clout to re­ally co­or­di­nate rel­e­vant poli­cies among mem­ber states and the gov­ern­ment? Would not his/her suc­cess de­pend on the avail­abil­ity of fed­eral revenues se­cured through EU wide taxes? Would this be a step too far for mem­ber states to ac­cept tak­ing a long time to be im­ple­mented? Is it coun­ter­pro­duc­tive to pro­pose a long-term so­lu­tion giv­ing the im­pres­sion that ef­fec­tive so­lu­tions are not avail­able in short to medium term in­creas­ing the ex­pec­ta­tions that dis­ap­point­ing per­for­mances are bound to per­sist within the eu­ro­zone? It’s all a ques­tion of ex­pec­ta­tions as well. If one pushes for­ward an aim, that can­not be reached within the next elec­torate man­date, that will in­crease the per­cep­tions in markets and among in­di­vid­u­als that things are re­ally get­ting worst rather than bet­ter.”

“Do you think we have the right, nec­es­sary and suf­fi­cient tools to fos­ter in­vest­ment through the Euro­pean Fund for Strate­gic In­vest­ments and other struc­tural funds? Or do we lack some­thing that goes closer to the bone, namely from sav­ing ex­tras to in­vest­ment? Don’t we need some­thing that is much more vi­tal in or­der to be able to reach our aims?” the Mal­tese MEP asked Mon­sieur Gal­hau.

Mon­sieur Gal­hau replied that the first im­por­tant and ur­gent step is that the Euro­pean Fi­nance Min­is­ter should come, with a co­or­di­na­tion part and then a bud­get part. Our is­sue at present is this in­vest­ment turf. This is the core of the Euro­pean dis­ease. Not only Europe, it is also present in the US, with stag­na­tion. But it is es­pe­cially Euro­pean: This is why we should or­gan­ise to­gether the Juncker Plan and the Cap­i­tal Markets Union. “When you say ‘closer to the bone’, if you mean na­tional re­forms, strong re­forms to stim­u­late the de­sire of in­vestors, then yes. Eq­uity fi­nanc­ing for firms is very im­por­tant. We need more busi­ness-friendly poli­cies in or­der to in­crease our en­trepreneur­ship. This is one of our weak­nesses,” Gal­hau told the Mal­tese MEP.

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