Conversation 1: Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of the Eurogroup
- In response to a question from Fred Bergsten about German surpluses, Dijsselbloem said that Northern European countries do need to reform and increase demand.
- He also said that there is not a clear North-South divide anymore.
- Trust of the outside world has returned. Trust between EU members needs to be encouraged.
- Allow more flexibility on the fiscal side to those countries that reform their labor markets ('reward countries by giving them time')
.@J_Dijsselbloem: Europe has been built time and again by defining the next big project. But future should be more evolutionary adjustments.— Nicolas Veron (@nicolas_veron) April 17, 2015
Dijsselbloem at Pet. inst: Greek government is experienced in academics but not in politics.— Landon Thomas Jr. (@Landonthomasjr) April 17, 2015
Conversation 2: Schäuble
Eurozone at a crossroads (again): A conversation with Wolfgang Schäuble
Worth noting that:
- Schäuble said that Germans, and other Europeans, are too risk-averse and that the trans-Atlantic differences in risk-aversion will be an obstacle for TTIP negotiations.
- He said that he consistently asks German citizens to bash Greeks, and that he tries to remind the press that most Germans are suffering less than Greeks.
Other people noted the following parts of the speech / Q&A:
Schäuble about Greece: IMF and others were afraid that i would be to generous toward Greece #EuroFuture— Gero Schliess (@GeroSchliess) April 16, 2015
Schäuble: I always tell German media, stop Greek bashing, Greek people are suffering. #eurofuture— Yannis Koutsomitis (@YanniKouts) April 16, 2015
We all would be very happy if we could convince the US to lead quota reform at IMF, says Schauble #eurofuture— Brookings Econ (@BrookingsEcon) April 16, 2015
Schäuble's conclusion: "Exit is only a decision for Greece" #EuroFuture— Nicolas Veron (@nicolas_veron) April 16, 2015