U.S. has "enormous" debt problem: ECB's Stark

ALPBACH, Austria Thu Sep 1, 2011 9:04am EDT

European Central Bank (ECB) policymaker Juergen Stark speaks during a dinner function at a hotel in Hong Kong April 12,2011. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

European Central Bank (ECB) policymaker Juergen Stark speaks during a dinner function at a hotel in Hong Kong April 12,2011.

Credit: Reuters/Tyrone Siu

ALPBACH, Austria (Reuters) - A debt crisis is still gripping the developed world, European Central Bank policymaker Juergen Stark said, adding there was no alternative but for countries to take painful steps to consolidate their public finances.

"The crisis is not over. Not just in Europe is it not over, it is also not over in other regions of the world," he said, adding the United States had an "enormous" debt problem and lacked the structures to get the problem under control.

Stark, a member of the ECB's executive board, declined to discuss ECB monetary policy during a panel discussion at the Alpbach Forum economic conference on Thursday.

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by John Stonestreet)