The new French EU commissioner’s austerity 'bodyguards'


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On the face of it, it seems an undeniable French victory. Pierre Moscovici, the finance minister who was reshuffled out of the French government in April, has landed a huge portfolio at the heart of the European Commission under its president-elect Jean-Claude Juncker. The commissioner for economic and monetary affairs does not just handle economic and financial affairs but also looks after customs and tax. It is via this commissioner’s office that such decisive issues for the EU's future as economic stimulus policy, austerity, continent-wide tax harmonisation, the fight against tax havens and the tax on financial transactions all have to pass. It is, in effect, at least two commissioner posts rolled into one.