Skip to main content

Ghosn: Eurozone now has time, but needs growth

From Stan Grant, CNN
September 13, 2012 -- Updated 0832 GMT (1632 HKT)
  • Nissan CEO: ECB decision buys eurozone time, but problems remain
  • Ernst CEO: Europe won't return to growth for "four or five-plus years"
  • Ghosn: China will be impacted by EU slowdown, but will be a "soft landing"

Editor's note: This week, CNN International will be examining "The Future of Europe," a look at the debt crisis as the eurozone faces another week of critical meetings that may impact the future of the 17-nation monetary union.

Tianjin, China (CNN) -- Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Nissan Motor Co., said that while the European Central Bank bond-buying program will help buy time, what the eurozone needs most is a return to growth.

"Without any doubt the decision made by the central bank will give breathing room -- but it doesn't solve the problem. It gives us more time to solve the problem," Ghosn told CNN on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, China, this week. "The hard choices have to be made and they have to be implemented mainly in order to gain back the competitiveness that Europe needs."

Still, the challenges look formidable for Europe in the next few years.

"I think the Europe situation is more complex than most people really realize. A lot of talk -- mostly about sovereign debts -- but beyond that I see very little prospects for growth in the near term -- call it four or five-plus years (before a return to growth)," said Jim Turley, CEO of global accounting giant Ernst & Young.

Eurozone 'not out of the woods, yet'
Plans for EU banking union under way
Are central banks doing enough?

The decision by Germany's Constitutional Court Wednesday to dismiss a complaint against Europe's permanent bailout fund helped ease pressure on borrowing costs for Italy and Spain, the countries next in the firing line of Europe's sovereign debt crisis. The fund is a crucial part of the ECB's plan, announced last week, to buy bonds to help European countries when market forces push bond interest rates too high.

Ghosn says he is untroubled by the at times fractious debate in the eurozone between wealthier nations and their more troubled neighbors.

"I think there is enough wisdom and willingness to continue to live together in order to make mutual concessions which are necessary to hold Europe together. I'm not worried about that -- what I'm worried about is the speed at which we are solving the problems in Europe," Ghosn said. "We need a little more speed a little bit more determination to get out of the situation where the economy is stuck at 0%."

The slowdown in the economy of China has been tied to the slowdown in the European Union, Beijing's largest trading partner. But Ghosn believes the nation is headed "without any doubt" to a soft, rather than hard, landing thanks to domestic growth.

"(The) European market is in recession. This year, no doubt, will be in recession: -1% or -0.5%. And even though Europe is in recession, even though the U.S. is far from its potential ... China will still deliver 7.5% growth. Yes (China) depends on other economies but it has enough substance by itself in order to continue to develop and to grow with the internal market," he said. "It's already the largest car market in the world, with more than 18.5 million cars and light commercial vehicles sold."

Part of complete coverage on
August 27, 2013 -- Updated 1943 GMT (0343 HKT)
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says the eurozone's problems are not solved, but "we are in a much better shape than we used to be some years ago."
September 4, 2013 -- Updated 1528 GMT (2328 HKT)
The G20 is held in Russia but, amid disagreements over Syria, can anything be done? John Defterios investigates.
July 10, 2013 -- Updated 1502 GMT (2302 HKT)
Summer could not have come soon enough for Lloret de Mar, a tourist resort north of Barcelona. Despite the country's troubles, it's partying.
June 7, 2013 -- Updated 1750 GMT (0150 HKT)
The euro club has suffered major shockwaves but its newest member has emerged as an economic star. What;s behind Estonia's success?
May 29, 2013 -- Updated 1323 GMT (2123 HKT)
The global recovery has two speeds: That of the stimulus-fed U.S. and that of the austerity-starved eurozone, according to a new report.
May 14, 2013 -- Updated 1326 GMT (2126 HKT)
The flags of the countries which make up the European Union, outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.
The "rich man's club" of Europe faces economic decay as it struggles to absorb Europe's "poor people", according to economic experts.
May 27, 2013 -- Updated 0256 GMT (1056 HKT)
Europe's competitiveness is threatened as manufacturing companies scrambling to find enough skilled engineers.
July 10, 2013 -- Updated 1502 GMT (2302 HKT)
Spain's economic crisis is in its sixth straight year yet tourism, worth 11% of GDP, is holding its own, one of the few bright spots on a bleak horizon.
May 2, 2013 -- Updated 1044 GMT (1844 HKT)
As European financial markets close for the spring celebration of May Day, protesters across Europe and beyond have taken to the streets to demonstrate.
April 26, 2013 -- Updated 1210 GMT (2010 HKT)
As Croatia prepares to enter the 27-nation European Union, the country's Prime Minister says Italy must return to being the "powerhouse of Europe."
April 25, 2013 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Spain's unemployment rate rose to a record high of 27.2% in the first quarter of 2013, the Spanish National Institute of Statistics said Thursday.
March 25, 2013 -- Updated 1355 GMT (2155 HKT)
The financial uncertainty in Cyprus is generating images of long lines at ATM machines and anti-European Union protests.
March 25, 2013 -- Updated 1815 GMT (0215 HKT)
Cyprus will "step up efforts in areas of fiscal consolidation." Where have we heard that before? Oh yes. Greece.
March 23, 2013 -- Updated 0139 GMT (0939 HKT)
The Cyprus debt crisis is being felt by the banks but also by the people who work at them. Nick Paton Walsh reports.
March 22, 2013 -- Updated 0010 GMT (0810 HKT)
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on a Russian hotel maid caught up in Cyprus' financial crisis.
March 18, 2013 -- Updated 1608 GMT (0008 HKT)
Never underestimate the capacity of the Eurozone to shoot itself in both feet, says CNN's Richard Quest.
February 21, 2013 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
Spain has seen hundreds of protests since the "Indignados" movement erupted in 2011, marches and sit-ins are now common sights in the capital.