LONDON (Reuters) - European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Thursday the rise of Euroskeptic parties in recent European parliament elections gave reason for deeper reflection on Europe’s future.
“The emergence of these nationalistic movements in different parts of Europe will prompt one thing ...a deeper reflection on Europe,” Draghi said, responding to a question about gains for EU protest groups in last month’s elections.
“It’s a very good time to think deeply about how we can improve Europe. How can Europe become again a construction that delivers not only peace - which is not a small achievement, which has been delivered for a long time - but also prosperity and jobs,” he told the ECB’s post-meeting news conference.
“It’s not going back to square (one) that is the optimal response for resolving the problems of today’s Europe.”
Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem earlier said the package of stimulus measures the ECB unveiled on Thursday was “certainly helpful”, but the steps did not take away the obligations on countries to reform.
“We still have to do a lot ourselves,” he told an EU seminar on Thursday in London. The rate cuts could “buy more time” to complete economic reforms and this time should not be wasted.
Dijsselbloem also said the mid- and long-term outlook for inflation from the ECB “seems quite sensible”, and has no doubts about their analysis or predictions. His worry was that the debate about deflation in the euro zone would become a “self fulfilling prophecy”, prompting people to put off investments.
Reporting by Huw Jones in London and John O'Donnell in Frankfurt; Editing by Janet Lawrence, John Stonestreet