Bloomberg News

EU’s Rehn Says Stressed Nations Must Step Up Austerity Measures

November 23, 2011

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said euro-area nations with high debt levels must step up budget-austerity measures to regain market confidence, drawing attention to Greece and Italy in particular.

“The fundamental reason for the turbulence in the sovereign-debt market is that there is no trust in the market that some member states do the necessary fiscal and structural reforms to service their debt,” Rehn said today in the text of a speech delivered in Berlin. “Those countries that have come under pressure need to step up their efforts to regain market confidence, and they have committed to do so.”

Rehn said Greece’s national unity government under Lucas Papademos must pursue budget cuts as well as economic-policy changes aimed at boosting growth.

“In particular, Greece must make decisive and rapid progress in its transformation,” Rehn said.

On Italy, Rehn said he would continue “monitoring closely in the coming weeks and months” the nation’s fiscal consolidation under the government of Prime Minister Mario Monti.

“Overall, the current situation in Italy represents an opportunity for positive change,” Rehn said. “I am confident that with the right policies Italy can overcome the current loss of market confidence.”

--Editor: Jones Hayden

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Stearns in Brussels at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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