EU首脳会議 危機克服へ統合を深化せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 23, 2012)
EU must deepen integration to overcome crisis
EU首脳会議 危機克服へ統合を深化せよ(10月22日付・読売社説)

The European Union has hammered out a policy of boosting solidarity and deepening its unity in a bid to weather its fiscal crisis. This is one step forward in solving the crisis. However, the EU's ability to quickly realize its plans has yet to be tested.

At a summit meeting, EU leaders agreed to have the supervision of eurozone banks--presently carried out by each member country--carried out unitarily under the European Central Bank, starting next year and continuing in stages. It can be said that the accord came in line with the plan of pushing the eurozone toward a "banking union," which would integrate the financial administration of EU members.

Although European countries have been unified in their use of the euro, financial administration has been handled by each member country.

Bank supervision has been lax, allowing fiscal deficits of some member countries to expand. Learning from this, the European countries have taken a step forward in deepening its integrity. This is quite appropriate.

To provide a permanent financial stability net, the European Stability Mechanism was inaugurated on Oct. 8.

For the ESM to shore up banks in financial difficulties through a direct capital injection, it is a prerequisite for the ESM to precisely grasp the management condition of banks.

With a single supervisor overseeing banks, the way will be opened to utilize the ESM to assist shaky banks. The supervision by one body is expected to stop a "negative chain reaction," whereby a member country rescues its banks through public funds, deteriorating its fiscal health and sending the market into disarray.


EU countries must act quickly

Yet it remains uncertain as to when the single supervisor for banks will be created.

For the eurozone to complete the banking union, it is necessary to work out a deposit insurance system for the EU countries as a whole and measures for the disposal of failed banks.

Although Germany, wary of an increase in its financial burden, remains cautious over the creation of the supervisor, EU countries must seek a point of compromise swiftly.

At the summit meeting, EU leaders also agreed to discuss measures for fiscal integration, including the introduction of a "common budget for eurozone countries" designed to shore up members in fiscal crisis, with the discussions to continue at their next summit slated for December. We hope they expedite their effort in working out a concrete action schedule.


Woes continue in Spain, Greece

A matter of concern is that EU leaders have deferred assistance measures for Spain, a key issue at the moment. This is because the Spanish government, which is in a serious fiscal crisis, has not sought assistance from EU authorities.

Even though the yields on Spanish government bonds have been relatively stable lately, it is too early to relax. It is vital to work out assistance measures for the country and tackle fiscal reconstruction quickly.

Also worrisome is the outlook for the fiscal reconstruction of Greece, the epicenter of the European fiscal crisis. EU leaders at the summit talks put off a decision on whether they should agree to postpone the target date for putting that country's fiscal house in order, as Greece had requested.

The EU won the Nobel Peace Prize this year for its role in contributing to the peace and reconciliation of Europe and the promotion of democracy and human rights.

The prolonged European financial crisis has been slowing down the global economy. The award is probably meant as a morale booster for the EU as it struggles to deepen its integration to overcome the crisis. Each member country must fulfill its responsibilities.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 22, 2012)
(2012年10月22日01時19分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2012-10-24 14:54 | 英字新聞

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