Speaking in Berlin, Dijsselbloem said that
national tax cuts should be coordinated across Europe.
"The tax wedge on labor in the euro zone is high, probably too
high," he said. "In almost all euro zone countries we have a tax
wedge that is higher than the OECD average."
Dijsselbloem said that following the European Parliamentary
elections he is more convinced that the European Union must
focus on job creation. "Europe is no longer taken for granted,"
he said. "It is no longer undisputed ... the elections have only
strengthened my belief that we have to focus on creating jobs."
He also said the EU's efforts must be aimed at creating the
right conditions for sustainable growth.
"The key issue at the moment is simply the return of jobs. The
real thing in life that people still feel, such as in Portugal,
is massive unemployment. So people ask, will this be jobless
Dijsselbloem said he was concerned about a lack of movement for
reforms after the parliamentary elections.
"After these elections, my fear is that we are scared to do
more, that we will draw back and see what happens. Then we will
get stuck at a very low level of growth, unemployment does not
go down and you will lose the next elections," he said.
"If you want the next elections to be better – of course it
always depends on the perspective – you have to act now."
Dijsselbloem, who is finance minister of the Netherlands, said
he wasn't sure if the Eurogroup needs a permanent chairman or
not but believes it is possible to continuing to hold two jobs
at the same time.
"Whether it needs a permanent president, I don’t know. I like
combining both jobs. Of course, there would be more time (for
the Eurogroup role) if I didn't have my daytime job, but the
combination is practically doable," he said.
(Reporting Annika Breidthardt; Writing by Erik Kirschbaum;
Editing by Stephen Brown)
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