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      Financial Forum: What the press says

      Financial Forum: What the press says

      “Towards a sustainable Europe”, “Discipline and rules must be observed” and “Europe needs time” were some of today’s headlines in national newspapers reporting on the Luxembourg Financial Forum, organised by Luxembourg for Finance. The press coverage focused on the debate between Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker and French economist and writer Jacques Attali.

      There was no exchange of blows between Juncker and Attali, says the Luxemburger Wort, it was morea dialogue between the two on how you can combine profitability with responsibility. The paper quotes Jacques Attali who regrets that financial markets react faster in a crisis than governments.

      Luxembourg’s Prime Minister is self-critical, admitting that politics are partly responsible for current problems in Europe. The two panelists agreed that euro bonds are an appropriate answer to this crisis and similar crises in the future.

      Both men have high expectations with regard to the G20 summit. While Jacques Attali asks for decisions to be taken by this body, Jean-Claude Juncker wants solutions regarding short selling and the regulation of rating agencies.

      The daily newspaper La Voix concludes that both Jean-Claude Juncker and Jacques Attali didn’t beat around the bush. Attali regrets that the globalisation of the economy was not accompanied by the globalisation of regulation and Juncker is in favour of international rules to supervise bankers.

      La Voix points out that the financial sector was not alone in being picked out for heavy criticism by the panelists; EU Member States got their share too. Both men agree that European treaties have to be reformed and that Eurobonds are the solution for more economic stability.

      In the liberal paper Journal, Nic Dicken writes that though the debate was centered on topics like public debt and the crisis of the euro, the entertainment value was there. He adds that the Grand Duke Henri was an alert listener.

      For Jacques Attali there is a close link between debt and democracy. A public debt is failure of the democratic system because people are not told the truth by politicians. Jean-Claude Juncker notes that the reduction of debt is also the fact that you care for the generations to come.

      The French language newspaper Le Quotidien headlines that the Financial Forum has sketched the outline of tomorrow’s economy. The conversation strayed over a wide range of subjects, says the journalist Camille Leroux.

      Le Quotidien quotes Jacques Attali who says that public debt is not a factor of economic growth: he predicts that these two tsunamis will meet one day.

      The Tageblatt journalist writes that the debate between Jean-Claude Juncker and Jacques Attali was nice but without much substance. He regrets that such men, who have the intellectual capacities to render such a debate exciting, did not do so.