Heard in Europe

Speedy Moscovici

Why the rush to make announcements on imbalances within the stability and growth pact today? The press conference originally planned for the beginning of next week slipped into hacks’ inboxes marked urgent on Wednesday afternoon (25 February).

“The College [of Commissioners] spent so much time discussing the issue and a decision had been made so we thought there was no need to delay the announcement,” Valdis Dombrovskis, the Commissioner for the euro and social dialogue told journalists, at a joint press conference with Pierre Moscovici, the Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs.

Perhaps the pair were concerned that former French finance minister Moscovici’s predecessor Jyrki Katainen, might accidentally leak the details before Monday, since he was the last Commissioner to entreat France to get its books in order last October? Or did they fear that one of the member states which fared more poorly than last year in the announcements – Bulgaria, France, Germany or Hungary for example – might pre-empt the announcement with a bit of their own briefing?

Or perhaps they were keen to make sure they did not steal each others’ thunder. Last time such announcements were made by Katainen, he got to make them alone, but under the Commission’s new multi-polar Commission model, the two Commissioners make the announcement jointly.

The only way of ensuring neither is assumed to be top dog is to make sure neither gets the chance to bark first.


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