When history books are written about the financial crisis, they will say it began in 2008. What date will they give for its end? “Hmm, after the hyphen? After 2008? Two thousand,” she says firmly. How odd, I think – her English is perfect, but she must have misunderstood the question. I ask again, but she is laughing. There was no misunderstanding.
“Well, I’m sure about the first two digits: 20. But I’m not sure about the last two digits.”
“What we say is it cannot be either or; it’s not either austerity or growth, that’s just a false debate. Nobody could argue against growth. And no one could argue against having to repay your debts. The question and the difficulty is how do you reconcile the two, and in which order do you take them? I would argue that you do it on a country by country case; it’s not going to be a one size fits all.”