Speech by Paschal Donohoe after the Eurogroup meeting of February 25, 2022

It is in these darkest hours, in these darkest times, that our thoughts are with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people as they face this unprovoked attack and fear for their lives. We will do whatever we can, whatever is necessary to support them in these tragic circumstances. This is not just an attack on Ukraine, it is an attack on the values ​​of a free and democratic world, values ​​which are at the heart of the European Union. This is why the Union is firmly united in protecting our common values, our freedoms and the rule of law.

Last night, our leaders took decisive and collective action to hold Russia accountable. This is an additional step in our response. There is more to come. But our first priority now is to implement these sanctions and finance ministers will act urgently to do so.

We know that there will be consequences in defending our European values ​​and freedoms. We know there will be economic costs. But it is these same values ​​and freedoms that are fundamental to the success of our Union and fundamental to our societies and our economies. These costs will appear over the coming weeks and months. The impact will be different in different Member States.

But our discussion today, led by Bruno, showed that we will maintain the unity of purpose that we have shown over the past two years. Although we have started to reflect on the consequences of the events of the past few days, we are doing so with an economy that is already strong and resilient thanks to the political decisions we have taken in recent years.

It was only in December that the Eurogroup collectively agreed to maintain a moderately supportive fiscal stance for our economies, complementing our central bank’s monetary policy to give our governments the capacity to meet the challenges of then and now. to today’s challenges. In three weeks, the Eurogroup will re-examine this question. We will discuss the coordination of our budgetary policies. This discussion will come at the right time – until then, it will allow us to revisit, to revise our strategies, to ensure that we can support our economies and our citizens at this time of greatest challenge. But we will do it with an economy which, because of its recovery, will allow us to meet this test. The Eurogroup and the Eurozone stand united with our institutions as we respond to this severe test.

Before giving the floor to the President of the European Central Bank, another important issue in a Eurogroup discussion today is that our colleague, the Greek Minister of Finance, Minister Staikouras, informed us of the early repayment of loans from the IMF and the Greek loan facility. A very important achievement on his part and that of his government. A further statement will be released on this later.

Visit the meeting page

Comments are closed.