EU money chief talks down the Euro

TOKYO, Feb 9, 2008 (AFP) – The euro is still above its fair value, EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia said Saturday. There may be calls however behind closed doors from European ministers for action to try to stem the dollar’s decline against the euro, which is hurting exporters in the eurozone, analysts said. “The euro has reached a level where we can consider that it is already above its equilibrium level,” Alumnia told reporters ahead of a meeting here of finance officials from the Group of Seven rich nations.

So far, however, “the euro’s rise has been more than compensated for by the growth of global trade,” he added.

In 2007, when the euro rose sharply against the dollar and the yen, “eurozone exports continued to grow and the trade balance was positive,” he added.

The single European currency has hit a series of record highs amid growing fears of a US recession that have prompted the Federal Reserve to slash interest rates to try to shore up the economy.

But analysts say the finance chiefs from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States appear unlikely to mention the w