August 18, 2011 / 2:30 PM / 8 years ago

EU's Van Rompuy sees no recession ahead in Europe

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy addresses the European Parliament, on the conclusions of last week's European Union leaders summit, in Brussels June 28, 2011. REUTERS/Thierry Roge

OSLO (Reuters) - European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said a recession was not expected in Europe even though the region faces weak growth and high public debt.

“We do not ... foresee negative economic growth, a recession (in Europe),” Van Rompuy told a news conference on Thursday, after meeting Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday unveiled far-reaching plans for closer euro zone integration and tighter debt rules, as well as reviving the idea of a financial transaction tax.

Asked whether he would be interested in being president representing the euro zone and to hold regular summits, as proposed by Sarkozy and Merkel, Van Rompuy said this was already “standing practice.”

“I have chaired already four euro summits... so it is nothing new,” he said. “I can’t accept something that is not offered yet officially, but I do the job already now.”

Reporting by Victoria Klesty

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