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The Norwegian Minister of Finance met with the Ecofin Chair

On 28 February Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen met with the Austrian Ecofin Chair, Karl-Heinz Grasser.

06/03/2006 :: At the meeting Mr Grasser gave an overview of the Austrian and Finnish common Ecofin program for 2006. The priorities in the near future are to finalise the tripartite agreement on the Financial Perspectives 2007-13 and prepare for the Spring European Council meeting on growth and employment at the end of March. As part of the latter, EU member states try to identify successful examples and experiences within economic policy and structural reform. Ms Halvorsen outlined some of the Norwegian experiences. Other Presidency priorities were also discussed, including the new Services Directive.
Ms Halvorsen raised the issue of savings banks in relation to the ongoing work in the EU to facilitate cross-boarder mergers and acquisitions in the financial sector. There will be no initiative during the Austrian Presidency or in the foreseeable future to shake up the ownership structure of the savings banks in order to facilitate acquisitions.
(Published 06.03.06)

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 Photo: Ministry of Finance