BERLIN Feb 17 European Central Bank board
member Joerg Asmussen said on Sunday the euro zone is in better
shape than a year ago thanks to positive budget consolidation
efforts in individual countries, the European Union's fiscal
pact and ECB actions.
Speaking on German network ARD, Asmussen said the euro zone
was in better shape now than a year ago despite the weak growth
in the fourth quarter of 2012. He cited in particular Italy
prime minister Mario Monti's budget consolidation efforts.
"We're in better shape now than 12 months ago due to several
factors," he said. "There was positive steps taken by individual
member states, such as the budget consolidation by the Monti
"There was also the fiscal pact agreed at the European Union
level," he added, referring to the European budget discipline
treaty. "And there was also the actions of the ECB that were
within our mandate. So we're in better shape even though growth
in the fourth quarter was weak."