11:52 - ECONOMY: REHN (EU COMMISSION), RECESSION GOING ON IN THE EU. RECOVERY IN 2013
(Sir Europe - Brussels) - Currently, European economy is in a slight recession. Recovery is expected to arrive by the end of the year. However, the GDP will only moderately grow, and the situation differs in each member state. The same applies to employment. In some member states, the number of unemployed people is increasing, especially that of young ones. EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn presents springs economic forecasts, which unfortunately confirm Februarys interim forecasts. Some positive signs come from a rise in world trade, while credit ratings are still bad. The document presented by Rehn consists of 182 pages, with tables, estimates and figures about the 27 member states and some major world economies. For 2012 - he states -, the GDP should slightly decrease in the euro-zone (-0.3%), while it will be zero per cent in the 27 EU member states. For 2013, the figures will be growing both in the EU and in the euro-zone (about 1%). These are just assumptions - the Commissioner confirms - based on regained market and consumer confidence. Nationwide, the situations of Greece and Spain are still very negative, while positive signs are coming from Poland instead.
14:16 - ECONOMY: REHN (EU COMMISSION), LET GREECE ABIDE BY ITS ENGAGEMENTS
(Sir Europe - Brussels) - Based on the Economic Forecasts disclosed today, on May 30th the EU Commission will submit its recommendations to each one of the member states (adjustments, reforms), which will eventually be reviewed by the next European Council on June 28th and 29th. But, urged by the journalists in the news room of the Berlaymont, where the EU Commission is based, deputy president Olli Rehn offers some clues to understand each countrys situation, after saying, once again, he is confident the governments will go on with their austerity measures, a prerequisite to revive growth. As to the difficult time the Netherlands are experiencing, Rehn thinks they must aim at reducing their deficit; as to Italy, he does not think it needs any more measures than those already taken by Montis government; he asks France to go on with its austerity measures now it has a new government. Rehn says he is worried about Greece and hopes it will form a government that may be able to abide by the engagements it has undertaken with the EU. As to the referendum that will take the Irish to the polls on May 31st to vote on the fiscal compact, the Commissioner does not say anything specific but states: It is up to Irelands citizens to decide. But the EU Commission supports the Treaty, which helps all countries keep their budgets under control. He also expresses concern for Portugal and Romania.