It can’t be easy being a European finance minister at the moment.
Most of them probably had a less-than restful weekend after last week’s G20 summit in Cannes failed to produce any real commitment to a bigger bailout fund, or European Financial Stability Facility, as it’s catchily entitled.
This next week many of them will be chasing hard after money from China – but the mood music coming from Beijing isn’t exactly encouraging.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, the supervising chairman of China Investment Corporation (China’s sovereign wealth fund) made it clear he was not impressed with Europe’s recent antics.
“If you look at the troubles which happened in European countries, this is purely because of the accumulated troubles of the worn out welfare society. I think the labour laws are outdated. The labour laws induce sloth, indolence, rather than hardworking.”
Jin Liqun told reporter Teymoor Nabili that too many Europeans were ‘languishing on the beach’ at the age of 55, while others had to keep working into their sixties.
Not comfortable watching for those European finance ministers, since Jin Liquin controls $400bn of China’s wealth, and is clearly not much minded to be generous with it.