Leo wants to “focus on recovery” for economy to grow around 5%

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António Pedro Santos / Lusa

Finance Minister João Leão

Finance Minister João Leão defended this Friday “focus” on the European Union (EU) and Portugal to ensure “a complete recovery” after the crisis, highlighting the “stronger-than-expected economic growth” this year, 5%.

“We are now experiencing a real strong recovery in Europe and companies are now very active. And with the success of the entire vaccination program in Europe, we now expect stronger economic growth this year than previously expected, of around 5% in Europe and also close to 5% in Portugal, which is very important.” declared John Lion, on arrival at the Eurogroup meeting in Kranj, Slovenia.

This means that “we now need to focus on this year and next to ensure a strong and full recovery from the crisis and we must focus on implementing the [fundo de recuperação] Next Generation of the EU across Europe to guarantee it”, added the minister of tutelage.

“In the EU you cannot think of strategies separately and so we have to promote a debate on our fiscal monetary policies and we will have important meetings today to ensure that we are focused on ensuring a strong economic recovery and for a period of time that allows maintain sustainable finances”, said João Leão, also alluding to this afternoon’s Ecofin meeting.

This morning the Eurogroup will debate the economic situation in the Eurozone, still severely impacted by the pandemic, at a time of worsening and when the EU is trying to start its recovery from the crisis.

At the informal meeting of the finance ministers of the Eurozone, which takes place in the Slovenian city Kranj under the presidency of the EU Council assumed by Slovenia, those responsible will receive the director of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Andrea Ammon, which will update them on the current epidemiological situation.

With ECDC forecasting admissions and admissions to intensive care to increase slightly in the coming weeks, following a sharp rise in the number of covid-19 cases in the summer (but not reflected in deaths due to vaccination), the Eurogroup it will then discuss the current economic situation, drawing lessons from now on the uneven impact of the pandemic across economic sectors and regions.

Specifically, the informal group of eurozone finance ministers will analyze the medium-term implications of the pandemic in terms of the policy actions needed to avoid divergences, namely with regard to the solvency of companies and the capacity to adjust in the eurozone over the period. recovery.

And this discussion takes place when the first funds arrive in the EU to finance the post-crisis recovery of covid-19, at a time when the European Commission has already made available almost 49 billion euros in upfront payments made to 11 EU pre-financing countries, including Portugal (2.2 billion).

At issue is the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, valued at 672.5 billion euros (at 2018 prices) and a central element of “NextGenerationEU”, the 750 billion euros fund approved by European leaders in July 2020 for the EU’s economic recovery from the crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

This afternoon, the Slovenian Presidency of the Council organizes the informal meeting of EU Economy and Finance Ministers in Kranj, which runs until Saturday. In both, Portugal will be represented by the tutelage minister, João Leão.