Finance ministers from around the EU said after a meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday that investments are needed to improve economic growth in Europe, but Estonian Finance Minister Jürgen Ligi said there is no substitute for reforms.
The ministers said the common market must be further developed, EU budget and European Investment Bank finances must be used more efficiently and new financial projects should be analyzed.
“Public sector investments will support economic growth and job creation, if they are done smartly, but they will not substitute reforms,” Ligi said.
He said a more honest assessment of national economies should be the starting point, as well as making tough decisions.
Ligi said the call for giant investment projects is a question of budgetary choices, and Europe is already littered with large structures left abandoned but needing great sums for upkeep.
The minister agreed to an automatic system of tax data exchange from 2017, which will help combat tax fraud.