VIENNA Feb 18 The euro's exchange rate should
not be dramatised, European Central Bank policymaker Ewald
Nowotny said on Monday, saying the currency was moving within
standard ranges and growth in the euro zone should start to pick
up again soon.
"The dollar/euro exchange rate is moving in a range we have
had before. We have had no special developments. There is a euro
appreciation against the yen but not to a dramatic extent," he
"That means if it stays likes this we are having a sham
discussion," he added, calling talk of a currency war - amid
market perceptions that many central banks are trying to cheapen
their currencies - "absolutely unnecessary".
He reiterated that the ECB, which targets price stability
rather than exchange rates, had no need to intervene.
Nowotny, who is also head of the Austrian National Bank,
said the central bank still assumed the euro zone economy would
reach its low point in the first quarter of this year and then
gradually recover, although there were big discrepancies in
growth rates among members and the outlook could still be
He thought the Austrian economy would also touch bottom this
quarter and could grow a real 0.6 percent to 0.7 percent this
year, slightly better than forecast in December.
Nowotny noted that the ECB did not decide on Ireland's
ability to relieve its debt burden by spreading out payments to
its central bank over more years, but added: "As an outsider I
see this as a reasonable solution that was made here", not least
because the ECB had advised against involving investors in
Ireland's debt resolution efforts.