Europe can deal if needed with more crises: Barroso

28th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Europe has all the tools it needs in the event of any more crises like the ones in Ireland and Greece, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said in an interview Sunday with French radio.

"We have all the tools in case there are other crises" in Europe, said Barroso on Europe 1 when asked about possible contagion from Ireland's debt crisis.

"There is the capacity to deal with all sorts of crises, be it for funding or for other sorts of measures," said the head of the European Union's executive arm.

Barroso's comments came as EU finance ministers gathered in Brussels to sign off on a 85-billion-euro (113-billion-dollar) bailout for debt-ravaged Ireland and calm markets before they reopen on Monday.

Agreement was reached among international negotiators in Dublin on a package, from which 35 billion euros would go to Ireland's shattered banking sector, a diplomat close to the negotiations told AFP.

It is the second bailout in a eurozone country this year, after a 110-billion-euro rescue package for Greece in May.

Barroso defended the European actions as "indispensable" because reducing the debt eases the pressure from the markets.

"Europe is not a foreign power imposing its decisions," he added. "Europe is us" and fiscal discipline is not "an end in itself" but a necessity to return to economic growth, he said.

Asked about whether it will be necessary to increase the 750-billion-euro fund created earlier this year to deal with financial crises, Barroso said he did not want to speculate.

He reiterated that in his view the euro was an "extremely stable" currrency and that speculation by certain commentators that a country might leave the single currency is "an unimaginable scenario because the costs would be unbearable," he said.

© 2010 AFP

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