Portfolio blogger

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

European Council - tasks for growth and jobs

Too much has been written about the financial stability pact (about budget discipline) and commentators are usually disappointed about the result achieved on the European Council the 30th January in further points concentrating on growth and jobs which were also on the agenda. J. M. D. Barroso, the president of the European Commission, published his presentation on the European Council and also his other materials (you have to go down the page as there are only newer items on it).
The presentation contains a series of important data and observations. I would call the attention to the balance data on page 3 and youth unemployment rates on page 8. The first one clearly shows that the 2011 surplus of Hungary is just transitional while youth unemployment in Hungary is in the mid-range of Europe.
It is worth looking at the nice chart on page 5. Hungary has red marks in the following areas in this chart:
Fiscal consolidation (interestingly long term sustainability is not red)
Fiscal framework
Taxation (I assume mainly collection of taxes and fighting tax evasion)
Active labour market policy
Labour market participation (the activity rate in Hungary is disastrous)
Business environment and SMEs (in spite of government rhetoric)
Public services and cohesion policy.
It is clear, given the dominance of big European players on the banking market that there is no red area in financial stability (although I doubt that the housing market in Hungary would be healthy but this is also caused by the perturbations due to the big foreign exchange housing debt and the fairly confuse measures trying to handle that.

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