EU’s Refugee Crisis Requires Stronger Leadership, Moscovici Says

European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici

European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici

Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg
  • EU’s economics chief says he’s optimistic for Greek agreement
  • Europe’s recovery can still be stronger and faster, he says

European policy makers need to get a tighter grip on the refugee crisis if they are going to have the same positive impact as they brought to the economy, according to European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici.

“The euro zone is on the right track but of course I understand there’s a need for more political leadership and some choices, such as the refugee crisis, have to be addressed in a stronger way,” Moscovici said in a Bloomberg TV interview Friday with Tom Keene and Francine Lacqua from the Group of Seven meeting in Sendai, Japan.

Moscovici said while the economy could still be “even stronger,” the recovery in Europe was “solid.” The European Commission forecasts that euro-area gross domestic product will expand by 1.8 percent in 2017.

Having been absorbed by the region’s debt crisis for more than five years as shock waves from Greece jolted investors and destabilized the currency bloc, European governments have been forced to refocus their energies on dealing with about 1 million migrants who have arrived within a year.

Moscovici said he was “optimistic and willing to find a global solution” when euro-area finance ministers meet on May 24 to clear up the lingering difficulties associated with Greece’s rescue under the terms of its third bailout since 2010.

Greece’s creditors, including the euro area and the International Monetary Fund, are struggling to put the finishing touches to their assessment of measures implemented as a condition of the aid package agreed last year. The review needs to be concluded before Greece can receive its next loan installment.

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