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ECB's Stournaras backs calls for euro zone integration
September 9, 2017 / 11:46 AM / 3 months ago

ECB's Stournaras backs calls for euro zone integration

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece’s central banker said on Saturday that the euro zone should be reformed and equipped with efficient tools to counter future economic crises, echoing recent calls for a reshape of the euro currency block.

FILE PHOTO: Governor of the Central Bank of Greece Yannis Stournaras speaks during an interview with Reuters at the bank's headquarters in Athens, Greece, November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/File Photo

“We need a visionary and ambitious, and at the same time a realistic approach, to turn the currency union into a more integrated financial and currency union with efficient crisis-management tools and resources,” Yannis Stournaras, who also sits on the ECB’s governing council, said in an editorial in the Ta Nea newspaper on Saturday.

Stournaras said the euro zone should be strengthened because the ECB cannot be the single institution responsible for ensuring the euro zone’s stability nor can it maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy forever.

His comments came a day after French President Emmanuel Macron used a two-day trip to Athens to send a message to fellow euro zone leaders about the need to strengthen the currency union at a time when Greece is coming out from years of economic crisis.

Stournaras also backed a German proposal for a fully fledged European Monetary Fund which would be used to head off future economic shocks.

France’s Macron, a centrist, was elected in May on a pro-EU platform that included pledges to create a euro zone budget that would be voted through by a euro zone parliament and supervised by a euro zone finance minister.

Stournaras referred to that proposal as a possible way to improve the “sharing of risks and responsibilities” in the single currency union.

Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; editing by Jason Neely

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