ECB's Coene reluctant to say euro crisis over: magazine

BRUSSELS Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:18am EDT

Belgium's Central Bank Governor Luc Coene arrives to present the bank's annual report in Brussels February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Belgium's Central Bank Governor Luc Coene arrives to present the bank's annual report in Brussels February 11, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The euro zone crisis has not been definitively consigned to the past, with a possible reignition in southern Europe and the standoff with Russia over Ukraine possibly weighing on Germany, ECB governing council member Luc Coene said.

"We are seeing a steady improvement but we have to take into account a reignition of the crisis in for example Italy or Spain," Coene told Belgian magazine Knack in an interview published on Wednesday.

Coene added that the recent political turmoil in Ukraine had brought the importance of geopolitical events to the fore and called for caution on the economic outlook.

"If Europe places sanctions on Russia that can have negative consequences for the German economy, because Germany depends for 30 percent on Russian gas," Coene said. "And then we will feel the consequences of that."

(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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