* ECB ready to boost bank liquidity, Coeure says
* Says euro zone countries must stay the course of reforms
(Adds comments by Coeure on challenges facing the euro zone,
ATHENS Aug 30 The European Central Bank is
ready to adjust its monetary policy further if needed and boost
bank liquidity, ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure said in
an essay published in Greek newspaper Ta Nea on Saturday.
Coeure said the ECB's measures so far have contributed to
stability in the euro zone while its recent decisions have
ensured a particularly accommodative direction in monetary
policy in the single-currency bloc.
"The ECB will provide additional liquidity to banks on the
condition that they increase credit directed to the real
economy, and it is ready to further adjust the direction of its
monetary policy, if needed," Coeure said in his commentary,
translated by Reuters.
He said the EU and the European Investment Bank could also
bolster economic recovery as long as governments at a national
level were effective in managing the funds.
The main challenge faced by the euro zone in the coming
years is preventing vulnerabilities from surfacing anew, Coeure
said, adding that euro zone countries, including Greece, still
need to pursue reforms.
"And this must happen, not in order to satisfy Brussels's,
Frankfurt's or Washington's expectations, but the interest of
consumers, workers, businesses and for social justice," he said.
Greece has agreed to implement structural reforms in
exchange for bailout loans from the European Union and the
International Monetary Fund.
Coeure met Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and top
officials including central bank chief Yannis Stournaras during
a visit in Athens, ahead of talks between the government and its
foreign lenders in Paris next month, which will kick off the
country's next bailout review.
Crisis-hit Greece is expected to post moderate growth of 0.6
percent this year and pull itself out of a six-year recession
induced by austerity, which has squeezed households, eroded
living standards and forced thousands out of work.
Coeure said the euro zone still has a significant deficit of
growth and employment.
"Europeans are jointly responsible to deal with these
challenges," he said.
(Reporting by Renee Maltezou and George Georgiopoulos; editing
by G Crosse and Leslie Adler)