German finance minister best in Europe, French worst

16th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

16 November 2007, LONDON - German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck is the best finance minister in Europe, while France's Christine Lagarde has to settle for last place, according to a Financial Times league table Thursday.

16 November 2007

LONDON - German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck is the best finance minister in Europe, while France's Christine Lagarde has to settle for last place, according to a Financial Times league table Thursday.

Finnish and Spanish ministers Jyrki Katainen and Pedro Solbes came in second and third place respectively, followed by the Netherlands' Wouter Bos and George Alogoskoufis of Greece, in the business daily's ranking.

At the bottom of the heap, Portugal's Fernando Teixeira Dos Santos is just above his French counterpart, with Italy's Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa third from bottom and Austria's Wilhelm Molterer just above him.

Explaining its ranking, based on five economic tests, and its decision to place Steinbrueck in first place, the FT said the German "has presided over a significant improvement in his country's fiscal position while pirouetting gracefully through the complexities of operating in a grand coalition government."

At the other end of the spectrum France's Lagarde, appointed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy after his May election, was ranked as the worst performer.

"France's fiscal recalcitrance continues to raise eyebrows across the rest of Europe, while the hyperactivity of Nicolas Sarkozy – especially in economic affairs, creates confusion about who is really running the show," the FT said.

The criteria on which the pink paper judged the ministers included their performance at controlling public finances and making the tax system competitive.

In addition their personal ability to push through reforms and win over their cabinet colleagues were taken into account, while the paper's writers awarded a political "star" to the best performers.

AFP

Subject: French news

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