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2012年6月 5日 (火)

ユーロ急落 欧州の努力を促す市場の警告

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 5, 2012)
Markets warning Europe to bring credit crisis under control
ユーロ急落 欧州の努力を促す市場の警告(6月4日付・読売社説)

The credit crisis in Europe has flared up again, and there seems to be no end to the euro's depreciation. To end the crisis, further efforts by European nations are indispensable.

Late last week, the euro nosedived in the foreign exchange market, hitting the 95 yen level for the first time in 11-1/2 years. As the yen's value also rose to the 77 yen level against the dollar, it seems to be a matter of one-sided appreciation of the Japanese currency.

Meanwhile, shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange have plunged across the board, discouraged by the yen's historic hyperappreciation. Due to factors such as worsening of the U.S. unemployment rate, shares have fallen sharply on the New York Stock Exchange, and stocks continue to fall worldwide.

This is a serious situation in which violent fluctuations in financial markets could continue.


No prospective end to debt crisis

The main cause for the sharp fall of the euro and the related stock market declines is that there is no prospect for the European debt crisis to be brought under control.

After failing to form a coalition government, Greece will have another election in mid-June. However, depending on results of the election, the country may face further obstacles in its economic rehabilitation and be forced to leave the eurozone. If this happens, major chaos will be inevitable.

The Greek credit crisis has spread to Spain, which has experienced a collapse of its real estate bubble, with the situation deteriorating to the point that a major bank has asked for an injection of public funds.

However, the Spanish government, which is suffering from fiscal deficits, cannot provide drastic relief measures anytime soon. Due to rising anxieties, holders of Spanish government bonds have gone on a selling spree.

The International Monetary Fund and the European Union have already made arrangements to financially assist some nations facing the crisis, but the help is not sufficient to support Spain, which has the fourth-biggest economy in the eurozone.

The world must remain on alert to prevent the European-born crisis from escalating to a level that could deal a major blow to the world economy.


Franco-German initiative essential

To control the chaos in Spain, cooperation between Germany and France is crucial.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who argues for restoring fiscal health, and French President Francois Hollande, who emphasizes economic growth, have made no progress toward narrowing their differences.

Germany and France should act in close concert to come up with a prescription to revive Europe under which both fiscal health and economic growth can be realized side by side. Eurozone nations must unite behind the initiative of the two countries to study measures to help Spain.

In May, a summit meeting of the Group of Eight major countries said Greece should stay in the eurozone. In mid-June, a summit meeting of the Group of 20 will be held in Mexico, and pressure on Europeans to swiftly respond to the situation will further intensify.

The euro crisis will also adversely affect the Japanese economy. The yen's sharp appreciation and the euro's decline will hit export-oriented companies and further cool the economy.

Finance Minister Jun Azumi has said he will resolutely respond to the the yen's hyperappreciation and hinted at a yen-selling intervention. We think his comments are appropriate.

The government and the Bank of Japan need to beef up cooperation with North America and Europe. The central bank may also need to study additional monetary-easing measures.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 4, 2012)
(2012年6月4日01時29分  読売新聞)


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