The European Union sought ways on Saturday to marshal billions of euros into its sluggish economy without getting deeper into debt, casting the net wide to consider options from a pan-European capital market to a huge investment fund.
Finance ministers from the bloc’s 28 countries are fleshing out a host of ideas circulating in European capitals. With interest rates already at record lows, ministers need radical steps to help growth at a time of near record unemployment.
From Poland’s 700-billion-euro ($907 billion) ‘European Fund for Investments’ to the European Central Bank’s plan to resurrect the EU’s market for asset-backed securities, Europe’s ability to get credit flowing to small companies is central to its economic revival.
“We’re thinking about instruments that facilitate investments,” Italy’s economy minister, Pier Carlo Padoan, said as he arrived for the gathering in Milan.