The Euro Is Not in Trouble: Eurogroup President

The euro is not in trouble but there are big imbalances in the euro area that need to be addressed, the Eurogroup's president Jean-Claude Juncker told CNBC Wednesday.

Euro coin in front of the giant symbol of the Euro outside the headquarters of the European Central Bank.
Thomas Lohnes | AFP | Getty Images
Euro coin in front of the giant symbol of the Euro outside the headquarters of the European Central Bank.

"I do not think the euro is in danger," Juncker said in an interview.

The imbalances should be remedied by structural reforms, while a macroeconomic debate regarding the competitiveness of countries in the euro zone should have taken place "more intensively" over the past few years, he added.

"I think governments are realizing that if they are in some budgetary crisis they are there because they were losing in terms of competitiveness," Juncker said.

On Tuesday, German chancellor Angela Merkel warned that the euro was in an "exceptionally serious" situationbecause of the Irish debt crisis.

The Irish government is releasing details of a 4-year fiscal plan and, as part of the efforts to bail out its overstretched banks, would take a majority stake in Bank of Ireland and could fully nationalize Allied Irish Bank.

In another CNBC interview, European Central Bank Governing Council member Yves Mersch said the ECB will be able to gradually phase out the measures it to support the euro zone economy.

Mersch said that, although the ECB's bond-buying program will not be scrapped, it "is not at present in the same functioning mode as it has been six months ago."

S&P downgraded Ireland's credit rating to A from AA- late Tuesday, sending the euro to a two-month low.

The euro was trading at a two-month low Wednesday, shrugging off record German business confidence on continued worries about the debt crisis.

Contact Europe News


    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More

Europe Video

  • Harriot Pleydell-Bouverie, founder of Mallow and Marsh, explains how her business grew from making marshmallows in her kitchen to a recent deal with supermarket chain Sainsbury's.

  • Jeffery Rothfeder, author of "Driving Honda", says that Honda's strategy of setting up localized operations in every market it goes into means the group gets the best margins in the auto industry.

  • Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher's chief executive, discusses the French business environment and says that he agrees with the French prime minister's call for monetary policy easing from the ECB.