‘Bold’ reforms in eurozone are called by IMF

WASHINGTON: The IMF on Saturday called for determined structural reform in Europe to improve the growth aspects in the eurozone, reeling under a public debt crisis. The International Monetary Fund’s steering committee welcomed the authorities’ decisions in March to strengthen European financial firewalls as part of broader reform efforts. But, echoing comments often heard at the IMF-World Bank spring meetings under way in Washington, the International Monetary and Financial Committee stressed that reforms are vital to sustainable growth. “In the euro area, continued progress on ensuring debt sustainability, securing financial stability, and undertaking bold structural reforms will be crucial to boosting confidence and productivity, facilitating rebalancing within the monetary union, and promoting strong and balanced growth,” the IMFC said in a post-meeting communique. Europe was the main worry at the Washington meetings of finance ministers and central bank chiefs of the sister institutions’ 188 member countries. On Friday, the IMF and the Group of 20 announced that the eurozone and other countries had committed more than $430 billion for an IMF “global firewall” to be used to intervene in crises in Europe or elsewhere. “The global economy is recovering gradually,” the steering committee said. “But more remains to be done.”