Krecké: “I don't know what to do”
Luxembourg's trade minister has owned up to feeling helpless over the current financial turmoil affecting businesses in Europe.
Jeannot Krecké confided to a gathering of a 100 people at Amcham's annual welcome back meeting that he was stumped by the growing financial instability and the slow trickle of investors leaving Luxembourg.
“For the first time for a long time, I really don't know what to do,” he said. “I've the impression that this is the case with many European ministers and government heads. But, this is one of our problems.”
Mr Krecké reflected on the last financial crisis in 2008, a storm which Luxembourg weathered then but which is resurfacing now for different reasons.
“Last year I said that the world's economy was recovering,” he said, adding: “Yet, it should be clear that there is no such thing as “back to normal”. That's the problem. And now we have a situation that is very different. It's more than a crisis of markets and derivatives, it's a financial crisis that's turned out to be a general economic crisis.”
Mr Krecké blasted the taxing of regulatory elements, which were introduced following the 2008 crisis. But, he reinforced the need for “smarter regulation” of financial institutions and businesses.
On a positive note, the minister praised the efforts of chambers of commerce like Amcham, which promote foreign investment in the Grand Duchy. He suggested that attracting firms to Luxembourg would provide a solution to some of the current financial problems and appealed to all those present to use their networks to promote the country.
“We might be a small country but we don't think that way. We try to be among the global leaders. We need you. You are our ambassadors,” he said.