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Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012
French banker says Europe on track
By JUN HONGO
The eurozone is properly addressing the cause of its financial crisis, though weaknesses persist and challenges remain, Bank of France Gov. Christian Noyer said Wednesday in Tokyo.
Speaking at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, Noyer touched on Europe's relatively buoyant bond market activity and the signs that the continent's stock markets are starting to pick up.
"Today there are number of positive signs," said Noyer, who is in town for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
While serving as the chief of the French central bank, Noyer is also a member of the governing council of the European Central Bank.
He explained that frail economic growth and highly fragmented financial markets in the eurozone are two major signs that weakness persists in the region. But efforts have already begun to bear fruit, he added.
"The primary position of the euro area should be close to balance by the end of 2012, which is a remarkable achievement compared with other major economic areas," Noyer said.
He added that progress is being made in structural reforms in many member countries, such as that of the labor markets in Spain and Italy and pension reforms in Italy and France.
While further reforms cannot come immediately and could take some time, Noyer said that the euro system will remain committed to building a "coherent, stable and dynamic economic and monetary union" through its new Outright Monetary Transactions and other tools.