The European Central Bank has emerged from the financial crisis as one of the few institutions with its reputation intact – and its powers greatly enhanced – so a job on its governing council is a pretty good gig by any measure.
One is coming up in June, when Austrian economist Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell is leaving after eight years at the top table. She’s one of the six executive board members at the ECB, and as such also sits on the rate-setting governing council alongside the 17 governors of the national banks whose countries use the euro.
Two candidates have been put forward to replace her: Peter Praet, 61, a well-regarded director of the Belgian central bank for the past decade; and Elena Kohutikova, 57, a former Slovak national bank deputy governor and now an economist at Vseobecna Uverova Banka, a unit of Italy’s Intesa SanPaolo. Read more
If you’re a European policymaker and you’ve become exhausted by the idea of austerity, then you might consider a new report by Charles Roxburgh of the McKinsey Global Institute.
The report, “Beyond Austerity: A path to economic growth and renewal in Europe”, is an attempt to skip past the discussion about how drastically governments should slash spending to look at ways they can stoke growth. It coincides with a growing complaint among some Brussels diplomats that months of economic crisis fire-fighting have caused the EU to neglect policies that create jobs.
On the job-creation front, Europe’s record is actually better than many people might suspect. Between 1995 and 2008, the European Union generated slightly more jobs than the US – 23.9m to 20.5m. (For statistical reasons, the study only includes the 15 countries that were EU members before its 2004 enlargement).
“There’s quite a good story on job growth,” Mr Roxburgh said. “The flipside is in productivity.” Read more
The euro will survive…for at least another year.
So proclaimed Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg prime minister and head of the euro group of countries, who announced Monday night that doubters of the currency’s future would be proven wrong in a year’s time. Read more