ECONOMY

Stournaras concerned about high level of euro

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said on Wednesday the strength of the euro is a concern even as its current level shows a return in confidence in the 17-nation currency.

“I’m concerned about the high level of the euro,” Stournaras told Bloomberg Television’s David Tweed in an interview in Athens. “The other side of the coin is that there’s confidence in the euro, despite what’s been said about Grexit, the collapse of the eurozone.”

French President Francois Hollande called on Tuesday for government leaders to steer the euro’s exchange rate. The currency rose to a 14-month peak against the dollar this month and the highest in almost three years against the yen, making it harder for exporters to sell goods abroad.

The high euro won’t be an issue “so much for Greece because most of our exports are within the eurozone,” Stournaras said. “But yes, overall there’s a problem with the level of the euro.”

Stournaras’s opinion contrasts with that of Luxembourg Finance Minister Luc Frieden, who said on Tuesday that the euro’s level doesn’t concern him at present and its strength follows the economic reality of the euro zone. The two are due to meet at a gathering of euro-area finance ministers in Brussels on Monday.

[Bloomberg]