Top European policymakers tell Reuters the future of the euro zone
By Michael Peacock EMEA Politics & Economics Editor, Thomson Reuters
Over five days, we interviewed European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and his economics commissioner, Benoit Coeure, the number two at the European Central Bank, the Finnish Prime Minister, the deputy prime minister of Portugal and the finance ministers of Germany, France, Spain, Ireland and the Netherlands (the latter also chairs the meeting of euro zone finance ministers). We also talked to the leaders of the anti-euro/EU parties in Britain and Germany and the head of Germany’s ZEW thinktank.
Coeure talked up the prospect of cutting the interest rate banks get to park their funds at the ECB into negative territory for the first time and gave the Portuguese bond market a boost with Lisbon’s prediction of above-forecast economic growth this year.
Our 24 strong spot interviews and three overarching theme pieces provided a compelling file showing the limits of EU integration and bank regulation, the rise of euroscepticism heading into EU elections and the problems that could cause, the ECB’s ever-more important role and Britain’s increasingly perilous quest for renegotiation which could lead to its exit.