Redding calls for EU commissioner to head eurogroup

14th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

The eurogroup of finance ministers should be headed by a European Union commissioner, deputy commission head Viviane Redding said Wednesday, also mooting that Paris and Berlin combine their treasury bonds.

Justice commissioner Redding said that the current crisis over debt-hit Greece should be "an opportunity for Europe to strengthen itself and go further... towards more governance of its financial and economic policy."

"Let's dare to create a strong presidency of the eurogroup," Redding told students in Paris.

She suggested that when the job becomes free in January "the 17 eurozone finance ministers put at their head the European commissioner for economic and financial affairs", Finland's Olli Rehn.

"We can do this without changing treaties and wasting years in discussions."

The eurogroup is currently presided over by Luxembourg premier and finance minister Jean-Claude Juncker.

The new head "would have management of the euro as his sole responsibility, helped by the best experts from the (EU's) 27 states, capable of moving forward the common interest of our common currency," she said.

"Two big countries such as Germany and France can certainly be a driving force in Europe.

"But to take us in the right direction, in the interests of all Europeans, a motor is not enough. We also need a driver. The European institutions, notably the European Commission, are that driver."

On the path towards "more integration" and building "a true European confederation" by 2020, Redding suggested that France and Germany combine "their treasury bonds and their banking supervision authorities."

"Such a move would send a strong signal and be the start of "a positive dynamic," she said.

© 2011 AFP

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