Viscount Etienne Davignon, chairman of Bilderberg Group, held a press conference late Friday on the future of Europe before high officials, bankers and private sector representatives at the National Bank, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Romanian Association for the Club of Rome. According to zf.ro, the leader of the financial group was optimistic about Europe’s future and said about deeply skeptical Romania that “Our conclusion is that there is no alternative to what we are doing; we must go forward, we are obliged to by everything we have achieved so far. People outside Romania have more faith in Romania’s development capability than Romanians themselves.”
Professor Ugo Bardi, an influential member of the Club of Rome, held the opening speech at the conference, drawing attention to the economy’s dependence on mineral resources.
“People keep talking about the financial crisis, but they are forgetting that economy is the science of material things. Banks also create resources, but the economy depends on mineral resources. The last decade has experienced a decrease in mineral resources production and an increase in prices. The price of mineral resources has tripled in the last ten years and the price of petroleum has quadrupled. It has become a growing burden for countries that do not own mineral resources. Overall, the European Union s petroleum and gas imports amount to USD 500 M, which is 4 percent of GDP.”
The price going up involves additional expenses of 1 percent of the GDP for the same quantity, and this plays an important part in the crisis, although it is rarely taken into account. For instance, Italy’s fossil fuel imports are 4-5 percent of GDP, while mineral resource imports are 7 percent of GDP. From this point of view, Romania’s outlook is slightly better, as fossil fuel is only 2 percent of GDP , Davignon pointed out.
In his speech, Viscount Etienne Davignon emphasized that there is no alternative path for Europe to a deeper integration. The cost of euro absence could result in the EU losing several percentages of the GDP. We must keep eliminating transactional costs in the hope that we are going down the road set after World War Two, the road of economic integration, Davignon said. To a degree, he continued, Europe has forgotten its roots – that it is essentially a Union. It has forgotten that Europe was a ruined continent after the war, and something completely different from the power balance of the past needed to be invented.