FINANCE ministers from around the world used this weekend’s G20 meeting in Australia to demand European officials act promptly to get the Eurozone economy back on track.
The ministers and central bank chiefs discussed financial regulation, tax avoidance and the ways they were going to add an additional 1.8 per cent to their collective growth by 2018.
They also urged Eurozone officials to do more to improve their economies.
“The euro area continues to encounter persistent headwinds, with unemployment still near record high, and inflation at dangerously low levels. Among the G20 members, there is an intensified call for boosting domestic demand.” said Jacob Lew, the US Treasury Secretary. Lew added that Europe needed a great deal of structural change.
“Strong action and political leadership is needed to ensure growth in the region does not settle on to a persistently weak path,” said Joe Oliver, Canada’s finance minister.
Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany’s finance minister, was less than impressed, both expressing pessimism over the effectiveness of monetary policy and warning against debt-fuelled growth.
It was not all disagreement, however. The Global Infrastructure Initiative to increase quality investment, particularly in infrastructure, was agreed on. There was also unanimous endorsement of the OECDs new international tax proposals designed to clamp down on avoidance.
The rules have gathered momentum, with 44 countries endorsing them in their first year, but will take at least another few years before being implemented.