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Shell CFO: Europe's Problems Go Beyond Debt

The debt agreement in Brussels only did so much to help Europe.

The markets saw a dramatic recovery on Thursday in the wake of the the announcement of a deal that could help contain the Greek debt crisis. The Wall Street Journal reports that Royal Dutch Shell's chief financial officer Simon Henry, however, sees larger problems that remain unaddressed by the recent deal.

Meeting in Brussels, European leaders and representatives from the financial industry agreed to a deal that would have banks accept a 50 percent write-down in the value of their bonds, which is expected to cut Greece's debt by as much as 100 billion euros, or more than $140 billion. But Henry suggests that the problems in Europe run deeper than just concerns about Greece and the financial system.

"Fundamentally, we have more of a concern in Europe as a whole about competitiveness," Henry told the Journal. "Europe’s macroeconomic position can only recover–and the European sovereign debt crisis can only be addressed–through underlying economic growth and we do not see the European Union creating the conditions for that. Most moves made by the European Commission one way or the other, either directly or indirectly, reduce the competitiveness of European industry."

The Associated Press reports that already the optimism following the debt deal has begun to wane and the markets have slowed their rapid rise.