The IMF Chief Christine Lagarde has warned of a growing economic gap between the Northern and southern States in the EU. While the Eastern European countries had decreased in recent years, the gap to the old EU member States, it can be the adjustment between the North and the South in the past 20 years, said Lagarde at the Munich conference. Therefore, must now begin a race to catch up, if you want to keep the EU politically stable.

Lagarde, EU countries called for a new promise for shared prosperity. Necessary structural reforms were mainly on three areas: labour markets in countries such as Greece or Italy would have to be more flexible. Lagarde pointed to Portugal as a positive example. There is very much more permanent instead of temporary Jobs were created because the labor laws have become more flexible.

Secondly, it is necessary to improve the legal framework for companies, said the IMF Chief. In Greece, it takes about nine Times as long for a company to settle in Ireland. “A common insurance market in the EU, there can be but only if the bankruptcy rules are in harmony,” she said.

Thirdly, encouraged Lagarde, the southern EU States to invest more in research and development. Italy, Portugal and Spain had issued between 2000 and 2014, an average of only one percent of their economic output for innovations. In Germany, the research expenditure in the past year, however, three percent of the gross domestic product.