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CNBC Transcript: Interview with President of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem


Following are excerpts from a CNBC interview with Julia Chatterley, and Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of the Eurogroup.

On the markets..

JD: Well there is concern, yet we also realise we are in a much better situation than we were some years ago. Both government's budgets, the economy, the real economy picking up throughout the Eurozone. And our banks are in a much better situation than they were some years ago, a lot of capital has been brought in, balance sheets have been restructured and this process is still continuing with the new rules of the banking union in place.

JC: Do you think then that the fears in the banking sector are overblown?

JD: I think a lot of the concerns are coming actually from outside of the banking sector, coming form outside the Eurozone, it's about the global economy and emerging markets, it's about the oil prices and the impact of that on the real economy. So let's not deviate from the work we are doing which is about strengthening our economy in the Eurozone, continue on that path, and strengthening the banks, which is still ongoing.

JC: You said just now that, look if are seeing a repricing in equities as a result of the new bail-in rules, then so be it, then that's the price we have to pay. We're also seeing that surely too?

JD: there could be an element of that, but it's really too early to say. I think that investors realise that with the bail-in rules the risks are being priced. And that may have an effect, but also here I feel that if there are legacy issues in our banks then we should deal with them. A lot of them have been dealt with and we should continue on that, so that the banks are fully opened for business and supportive of the economic recovery.

JC: You're kind of suggesting that actually all the problems haven't been dealt with and I think that, broadly that's what investors are saying here, actually there's still a lack of information about what's still to go.

JD: I don't think it's a lack of information, I think we all realise that, for example, nonperforming loans are an issue in some banks in some countries, but over the broad range of our banks a lot of work has been done, a lot of new capital has been brought in and the capital is of a higher standard and higher quality than some years ago. So we are in a much better position.

On Portugal..

JC: Let me ask you about Portugal as well, because if we read between the lines here, it seems like it was a shot across the bow for the government to do more work and stick to the guidelines here.

JD: We basically agree with the commission, the commission said it only just complies to the rules and there is a risk of deviation from our budgetary rules, so we've asked the Portuguese government to prepare additional measures, to start that work now, so when needed they can act quickly. I think that's important. They were very committed to that, very much prepared to do that. Because they want to comply to the pact and they want to be a part of this project.

On Germany..

JC: Final question. If Germany should find itself in any kind of financial difficulty in the coming months do all the Euro zone members stand behind them?

JD: We always stand behind all of our colleagues but this is a highly unlikely scenario.