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BBVA Chairman & CEO at the IIF meeting
Francisco González: "Spain is a solvent and trustworthy partner"
- Euro: betting against the euro will be proven wrong; the euro is here to stay with or without Greece
- Reforms: countries like Spain understand that fiscal consolidation and structural reforms are essential steps to exit the crisis
- Road map: the euro zone needs to define an integration plan for the coming years and resolve short-term liquidity problems
BBVA chairman and CEO Francisco González defended the solvency and credibility of Spain as a European partner. Speaking at the Spring Meeting of the Institute of International Finance (IIF) in Copenhagen he said he was convinced that “Spain is a solvent and trustworthy partner" and its situation is not comparable with Greece or Ireland.
During a round table on Europe’s new challenges Mr. González focused his remarks on Spain’s role in the euro zone. He reminded participants that Spain is taking decisive action, already correcting imbalances in public-sector accounts and in the current account while pursuing an agenda of reform and growth, and restructuring the financial system. In particular he pointed out that the Spanish and Irish financial systems are significantly different and that the situation in Spain is quite unlike that of Greece.
The BBVA chairman also mentioned recent measures approved by the Spanish government such as the “ambitious” labor reform and the “sizable” fiscal adjustment. He also spoke about financial reforms in Spain, which will clean up the balance sheets of a limited number of banks that require such action. The amount needed to repair the damaged part of the banking system is manageable, according to Mr. González.
Regarding the euro zone, BBVA Chairman called for “more Europe” to resolve the crisis. Mr. González believes that “the euro is here to stay, with or without Greece.”
Nonetheless he feels the European Union should dispel uncertainty by announcing a road map for the coming years. This could define the steps required for the creation of a European banking union, a greater fiscal integration and some form of debt mutualization. However in the short term the euro zone’s transitory liquidity problems must be resolved, he said.
In his opinion the most important aspect of the current situation is that Europe is taking the necessary steps and there is a broader political consensus on how to tackle the problems.
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BBVA is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a solid position in Spain, it is the largest financial institution in Mexico and it has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt Region of the United States. Its diversified business is biased to high-growth markets and it relies on technology as a key sustainable competitive advantage. BBVA ranks among the leading euro zone banks in terms of ROE and efficiency. Corporate responsibility is at the core of its business model. BBVA fosters financial education and inclusion, and supports scientific research and culture. It operates with the highest integrity, a long-term vision and applies the best practices. The Group is present in the main sustainability indexes.