BRUSSELS, June 9 The eventual winding up of the
European Central Bank's massive bond-buying programme will
create problems for highly indebted euro zone countries such as
Italy and Portugal, the Greek finance minister said on Thursday.
Euclid Tsakalotos warned that their borrowing costs could
surge when the ECB ends the now 80-billion-euro-a-month stimulus
programme it launched in January 2015 and which has driven down
sovereign bond yields across the euro zone.
"Quantitative easing has problems and will not last
forever," Tsakalotos told a conference in Brussels.
The ECB has pledged to maintain its stimulus programme until
March 2017, and possibly beyond, to counter ultra-low inflation
in the 19 countries of the currency bloc.
"It is very important that we remember that when QE does
finish there will be a lot of economies that are now high-debt
economies that will have a problem," Tsakalotos told the
Brussels Economic Forum.
"Interest rates of Portugal or Italy now reflect the fact
they have got QE."
Greece has so far not been a beneficiary of quantitative
easing, but it aims to join the programme soon after the
conclusion of a reform review under a bailout programme
negotiated with euro zone lenders.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Catherine Evans)