28 ap - 5 My, 2013
Dialogue with Toto’ inMergellina
Te conversaion was in a local dialec. Teranslaion alhough is losing much o is beauy reains however, is essence.Te discussion ook place las weekend, wih some old and new riends, relaxed inan
in he litle por o Mergellina, inhe norh side o Napoli, on he seashore,acing he gul.Te subjec was he eernal poliical messin Ialy, an endless argumen since orever,and helped by he local red wine was raheranimaed, ye or no real reason. All o a sudden,
, secular nameSalvaore Sorrenino early sixies, ocially reired on some kind o invalidiy sillselling boiled ocopus in he winer, waermelon ranches in he summer,lemons and oher merchandise in beweenseasons, in an open-air semi-legiimaekiosk in Pora Capuana, asked me very seriously,ell me
in he local dialecsands or
docor in English, andis used in Napoli o address educaedlooking people), he European Union,call i Commission, Eurogroup or anyway you like –o me i makes no dierence-,guaranees all bank deposis in all Eurozone banks up o one hundred housand Europer accoun, is ha correc?Quasi correc, I said, as despie saemensha confrm i, no mechanism has been seso ar o make his guaranee angible and,as you know dear
ra il dire ed il farec’e’ nel mezzo il mare.
Anyway, wha is yourquesion?Lisen
don’ mix me up wihmechanisms and oher big words which Ido no undersand because I was no lucky like you o go o school. I have heard ha inhe
and hereore,i is rue.My quesion
is, does i meanha Europe cares or he rich only?Because
’ i one has in he bank onehundred housand Euro is very rich. Rich beyond anasy! On he conrary, I do nohave even a bank accoun. All wha I haveis a small pension, which has been already reduced and I hear ha hose
in he governmen will cu i urher, inso doing robbing rom my pension, willmainain he guaranee or he deposis o he rich.ell me
wha kind o Union do wehave where he poor mus become poorerso or he rich o remain rich? And,
a proposio di merda,
, wha do you hink o he French Revoluion?
Basil A. Coronakis
– Since heglobal economic downurn began in 2008, de- bae has cenered on he macroeconomic srae-gies and insrumens used o address he crisisand oser recovery. Bu correcing imbalancesand addressing shor-erm slowdowns or reces-sions, while imporan, should no be allowedo overshadow he need o esablish long-ermcondiions or solid and susainable economicgrowh.So ar, macroeconomic policy has borne boh he blame or economic malaise and hehope ha i can be overcome. Bu we should be devoing as much aenion o he microeco-nomic problems – such as poor incenives, mar-ke ailures, and regulaory shorcomings – haled us ino he crisis in he irs place.Indeed, jus as microeconomic problems inhe inancial secor riggered a credi crunch andueled a global recession, so microeconomic ac-ors hold he key o recovery. Many economiesneed o ix he inancial secor and resore cred-i, while many more need o raise produciviy in order o boos growh and creae jobs.Some indusries suer rom counerpro-ducive and ill-conceived regulaion; ohers areailing as a resul o monopolisic behavior by dominan irms, or because hey ace a lack o e-ecive compeiion and ransparency in uiliiesand inancial services. Fixing hese problems would help us o reurn o a pah o growh andprosperiy or all.o achieve his, we irs mus ollow heHippocraic oah and avoid doing more harm.Governmens around he world should ignorehe empaion o relax compeiion in ordero provide relie o paricular indusries or eco-nomic groups.he renowned American economis Man-cur Olson argued ha sagnaion in developedeconomies resuls rom carels and lobbies becoming more numerous and powerul overime, unil hey evenually drain a counry’seconomic dynamism. Preserving a compeiiveenvironmen in which markes remain openand conesable is he bes onic, because irmsmus consanly innovae and perorm beerunder such condiions. his, in urn, makes oursocieies more creaive and, ulimaely, moreprosperous.Eors o relax compeiion have many ac-es. Bu all o hem make an economy less pro-ducive and redisribue wealh o small, coordi-naed groups wih vesed ineress and a sronginclinaion o lobby he governmen.he mos common approach is proecion-ism, which has been par o he poliical dis-course in various counries in recen years. Buoicial measures o help naional producers ahe expense o domesic business cusomersand consumers are always shor-sighed, orhey ail o help producers o address he chal-lenges ha hey will have o ace sooner or laeranyway.Similarly, old-ashioned dirigisme – suchas aemps o “pick winners,” oser naional“champions,” or keep ailed business modelsalive hrough sae subsidies – is boh harmuland doomed o ail. And misplaced regulaion– or example, in he service secor – remainsa barrier o healhy compeiion in many coun-ries.Once we have sopped doing harm, we mussar doing he righ hings. Economic policy islike gardening: pulling on plans will no makehem grow aser, bu a successul gardener canprovide hem wih he righ environmen in which o lourish.Relying on compeiion can help socieieso unleash well-uncioning markes’ power oprovide goods and services. o achieve his,policymakers mus have a sound enorcemenramework a heir disposal, ake an economy- wide approach, and arac he paricipaion o all sakeholders.Sound enorcemen implies legal ools andresources o pursue and implemen an econom-ic policy, along wih an insiuional design hareduces meddling by vesed ineress. Consider,or example, he imporance o imparial and e-ecive anirus auhoriies, or subsidy schemesha are suicienly well designed o ensure hahey ruly serve he public ineres. An economy-wide approach is needed be-cause markes are inerconneced. Misguidedregulaion or marke ailures ha harm compe-iion anywhere can burden he enire economy.he global crisis eruped because major prob-lems in he uncioning o he banking secorhad been le unaddressed. he poor uncion-ing o inpu markes, such as markes or energy or inermediary producs, can also do a lo o economic harm, no leas because i hampersexernal compeiiveness.Finally, srenghening compeiion hrough-ou he economy requires broad suppor. hiscanno be achieved wihou bridging ideologi-cal divisions and overcoming poliical pressuresrom paricular economic groups. Advocacy can play a key role, by educaing no only poli-cymakers, bu also ciizens and businessmen,abou he beneis o compeiion. here should be a wide consensus ha a pro-compeiive en- vironmen is one o he keys o economic pros-periy. Ausralia provides a good example o how pro-compeiive policies deliver resuls. Iseconomy was one o he OECD’s wors in ermso produciviy growh in he 1980’s; a decadelaer, Ausralia was in hird place. In he inerim,all o he counry’s economic regulaion wasexamined rom he sandpoin o maximisingcompeiion, and a naional pro-reorm consen-sus was orged.Currenly, signiican eors are underway in several counries, including Mexico. Sruc-ural reorms o boos produciviy will also becrucial o ensure Europe’s economic recovery and he survival o is social model. he “SingleMarke Acs I & II” provide a comprehensiveagenda o ap ully he poenial o an inegraedand compeiive marke o 500 million consum-ers o caalyze growh and prosperiy in he Eu-ropean Union.We know rom experience hacompeiion works. By basing economic policy on his experience, we could no only aver Ol-son’s grim prophecy. We could also acceleraeeconomic recovery, increase he pace o innova-ion, and raise livelihoods or millions o people worldwide.Copyrigh: Projec Syndicae, 2013.www.projec-syndicae.org
European Competition affairs Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, during a press conference at theEuropean Commission press room at the Berlaymont building. Brussels, Belgium. |
The competition factor
By Joaquín Almunia & Eduardo Pérez Motta
Joaquín Almuniais Vice President of theEuropean Commission and EU Commis-sioner for Competition.Eduardo Pérez Mottais President of theMexican Federal Competition Com-mission and Chair of the InternationalCompetition Network.