The IMF Country Reports Series covers economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with officials of the country, is published at the option of the member.
This paper focuses on euro area policies. The monetary policy stance remains appropriate for now. Fiscal policies are falling well short of consolidation requirements, and the area remains insufficiently prepared for the looming demographic shock. Past fiscal policy failures, notably insufficient adjustment during economic upswings, have strained the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) and EMU's fiscal framework. IMF staff has welcomed certain elements of flexibility in the SGP reforms while regretting the vagueness and open-endedness of others. Center-led structural reform programs have struggled to deliver.