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‘Worst is over’ in eurozone debt crisis says ECB chief

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, March 22, 2012 7:28 EDT
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ECB chief Mario Draghi via AFP
 
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The worst is over in the eurozone debt crisis, but risks remain and it is up to governments to resolve them, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said in a newspaper interview Thursday.

“The worst is over, but risks remain,” Draghi told the daily Bild, Germany’s most widely-read newspaper.

“Key indicators such as inflation, the current account balance and above all budget deficits are all better than, say, in the United States,” the Italian central banker said.

“Investor confidence is returning and for weeks now the ECB has not needed to take supportive action by buying bonds. The ball is now in the governments’ court. They have to make the eurozone permanently immune to crisis,” Draghi said.

Draghi, who took over the running of the ECB last November, defended the recent move to pump more than one trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) into Europe’s banking system, which some critics, including Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann, warn could fuel inflation in the single currency region.

“Of course there are risks and side effects if you use such a powerful medication as the one trillion euros were.”

But the situation last autumn was “really critical,” he insisted.

“There could have been a dangerous credit crunch which would have led to the collapse of companies. We had to prevent that,” Draghi said.

The ECB chief played down perceived tensions between him and the head of the German central bank.

“Professionally and personally, Jens Weidmann and I get along very well. Our difference of opinion has been hyped up,” he said.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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