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We are in a systemic crisis. No country in Europe is out of the consequence of the financial crisis, even France and Germany“, – says Catherine Trautmann, former mayor of Strasbourg and French euro-deputy. She speaks about Greece, Europe’s crisis and how it might affect South Caucasus countries in their way towards European integration.

By Hrant Mikaelian and Arshaluis Mghdesyan

“Europe is facing worst crisis since the Second world war”, – said Germany’s prime minister Angela Merkel a couple of days ago. The eurozone has appeared on the verge of a collapse when Greece, Ireland and Portugal became unable to borrow money on free debt market and were forced to ask money from the international creditors.

Being one of the fastest growing economies of Europe in 2000s, Greece now became the most affected by crisis economy in the eurozone. Greece’s average budget deficit in 2001-2008 consisted 6.2% while the maximum level, which is accepted for Eurozone countries is 3%. Now Greece’s debt is more than 300 bln euros, which makes a risk for the Euro stability. But the crisis signs are also seen in other countries: Italy, the third economy of an euro area also faces threat of debt crisis.

Catherine Trautmann, 59, is a former Minister of Culture of France and now Member of the European Parliament for the East of France. Member of the Socialist Partyn part of the Party of European Socialists, she was elected as mayor of Strasbourg in 1989, re-elected in 1995, then defeated in 2001.