(Reuters) – Euro zone finance ministers agreed on Friday that the looser monetary policy of the European Central Bank should be complemented with a mix of fiscal policy, investment and structural reforms, to boost economic growth.
“We will continue to work on this policy mix in the coming months,” the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem told a news conference.
They also agreed that cheap credit from the central bank, which now is almost for free, will not solve the structural problems of their economies and that this could only be done through reforms that require time and political courage.
Ministers of the 18 countries sharing the euro also agreed that European Union budget rules, which set limits on deficits and debts and oblige governments to run balanced books, are an anchor of stability in the euro zone and need to be preserved.
The last declaration comes as a response to an announcement by France that it will no longer honor its commitments under EU budget rules to cut its budget deficit below 3 percent of GDP by next year, but that it will only do so in 2017.