IMF / EURO ZONE REFORM

19-Apr-2018 00:02:39
Experts gathered at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to discuss the future of reforms in the euro zone. IMF
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STORY: IMF / EURO ZONE REFORM
TRT: 02:39
SOURCE: IMF
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 19 APRIL 2018, WASHINGTON, DC
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, IMF forum on Reforming the Euro Area
2. Med shot, officials taking seats at beginning of forum
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF):
“You may remember, that it was not so long ago that we had a euro area crisis and that some newspapers, we won’t mention them, were predicting the fall of the euro, the breakup of the euro zone and the complete interruption of this extraordinary experiment that has been going on for a few years. So, something has happened. And, some of the members on the panel here have had something to do with it.”
4. Wide shot, panel
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Pier Carlo Padoan, Minister of Economy and Finance, Italy:
“There is no shortcut. Indeed, there is what we like to call the narrow path. The climbing slowly but continuously over a mountain path between reducing debt and adjusting the fiscal stance and supporting growth. From that point of view, let me say that our interaction with Europe and European authorities has been very positive. Sometimes harsh, sometimes conflictual but never uncooperative. Always very cooperative and this is a political plus of Europe which must never be forgotten.”
6. Wide shot, panel
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jack Lew, former Treasury Secretary, United States:
“From the outside it certainly looked like it would have been more effective if the action could have been taken more quickly. It would’ve been more effective if some of the groundwork had been laid in advance. And, the challenge, I think it is appropriate as we think about where we are today, is how do you take those steps at a moment that is not a moment of crisis. Because, the political will required to take those kinds of actions is easier to find when you’re responding to a crisis than when you’re in a relatively good moment. And, happily, I was saying to some of my former colleagues this is the first time we’ve had a chance to talk when the economy was good here and in Europe and in so many places.”
8. Wide shot, panel
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Olaf Scholz, Minister of Finance, Germany:
“A new crisis might come in five, ten or 15 years. We hope it will be a long time before we have to face a situation like this, but we have to be prepared. And, to my point of view it is this year or the next year more or less, where we have to take the necessary decisions. It’s not some years to come, it will be this one and the next year where we have to do the necessary decisions, especially about the question of the banking union and what has to be done there.”
10. Wide shot, panel at end of forum
11. Wide shot, of audience applauding
STORYLINE
Experts gathered at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today (19 Apr) to discuss the future of reforms in the euro zone.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde hosted a panel of current and former senior officials from the euro zone and the United States to discuss lessons learned from the global financial crisis and how to move forward to prevent a return to the economic devastation unleashed ten years ago.

Lagarde said, “you may remember, that it was not so long ago that we had a euro area crisis and that some newspapers, we won’t mention them, were predicting the fall of the euro, the breakup of the euro zone and the complete interruption of this extraordinary experiment that has been going on for a few years. So, something has happened. And, some of the members on the panel here have had something to do with it.”

Amid, a strong global recovery, Italy’s Minister of Economy and Finance Pier Carlo Padoan said his country and its European counterparts had taken a difficult but correct path out of the crisis.

Padoan said, “there is no shortcut. Indeed, there is what we like to call the narrow path. The climbing slowly but continuously over a mountain path between reducing debt and adjusting the fiscal stance and supporting growth. From that point of view, let me say that our interaction with Europe and European authorities has been very positive. Sometimes harsh, sometimes conflictual but never uncooperative. Always very cooperative and this is a political plus of Europe which must never be forgotten.”

Former US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew praised European cooperation to overcome the crisis, noting that finding common ground among so many countries is time-consuming and difficult.

Lew said, “from the outside it certainly looked like it would have been more effective if the action could have been taken more quickly. It would’ve been more effective if some of the groundwork had been laid in advance. And, the challenge, I think it is appropriate as we think about where we are today, is how do you take those steps at a moment that is not a moment of crisis. Because, the political will required to take those kinds of actions is easier to find when you’re responding to a crisis than when you’re in a relatively good moment. And, happily, I was saying to some of my former colleagues this is the first time we’ve had a chance to talk when the economy was good here and in Europe and in so many places.”

Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said while Europe and much of the rest of the world is in a strong recovery, it’s no time for complacency.

“A new crisis might come in five, ten or 15 years. We hope it will be a long time before we have to face a situation like this, but we have to be prepared. And, to my point of view it is this year or the next year more or less, where we have to take the necessary decisions. It’s not some years to come, it will be this one and the next year where we have to do the necessary decisions, especially about the question of the banking union and what has to be done there. “
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