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An economic forum has opened in Brussels dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the creation of a single European currency. The celebration takes place in a difficult environment for the hero of the day: the strengthening of the euro against the dollar is detrimental to European exporters. But without the euro, it would be worse, says EU Commissioner for Finance Joaquin Almunia:
“If today we did not have a single currency, the current weakening of the dollar would cause enormous damage to the European economy. Trade and investment would be most difficult. We would like to remind this simple fact to all those who forgot what currency shocks we experienced in past. “
Indeed, while the economy of the euro area, which includes 15 EU countries, is more or less successfully opposing the emerging global recession. In the first quarter, compared with the previous three months, the economic growth rate of the euro zone exceeded forecasts and amounted to 0.7%. On an annualized basis, GDP growth rates remained the same – 2.2%. Since the third quarter of last year, there has been a slowdown in business activity.
At the same time, analysts believe that the common currency, which is also more expensive than the dollar, partly mitigates the negative effect of a record increase in fuel prices for Europe and helps control inflation.