European Commission president denies Europe sliding into recession

European Commission president denies Europe sliding into recession

Canberra: European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso on Monday said he still expected modest growth in Europe and did not anticipate a recession in Europe.

Concerns the euro zone debt crisis could spread to Italy and Spain have kept investors jittery, along with concerns that a new aid tranche for Greece could be on hold over fears the country will miss its budget deficit target this year.

“We don’t anticipate a recession for Europe. The latest forecasts by the European Commission show that there would be growth, modest growth, that’s true," Barroso told reporters during a visit to Australia’s parliament.

He said euro zone policymakers and officials were doing everything possible to ease economic concerns in the bloc, from tackling underlying budget problems to strengthening the governance of the euro zone and bringing in tighter financial regulation and improving competitiveness.

“I want to be very clear here. The European Union and the euro are strong and resilient," he said, after talks with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, whose country is a member of the Group of 20 leading and emerging economies.

Barroso said it was too early to assess whether Greece would meet its commitments to cut the country’s €340 billion debt, but the Greek government had said it planned to comply with its commitments.

“We are in contact with the Greek government and just now they have made some important remarks saying that they will comply with their commitments. This is certainly very important for Greece. It is also important for the EU," he said.