Arab Today, arab today eu leaders take reassuring tone ahead of ecb
Last Updated : GMT 06:51:55
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Arab Today, arab today

EU leaders take reassuring tone ahead of ECB

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today EU leaders take reassuring tone ahead of ECB

Paris - AFP

European leaders piled up reassuring declarations on the eurozone on Wednesday, the eve of a keenly-awaited meeting of the European Central Bank\'s governing council. European President Herman Van Rompuy slapped away speculation that the debt crisis would bring down the euro, while Germany\'s finance minister forecast that the single currency would be more stable in a year\'s time and that heavily indebted Greece would remain in the eurozone. The crisis is \"wrongly perceived as a threat to the survival of the eurozone,\" the EU president told European ambassadors in Brussels. While acknowledging that there was an \"existential doubt\" about the eurozone, Rompuy was \"convinced that we will manage to lift it.\" \"This will take more time but we think we will achieve it,\" he said. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble estimated that in a year, \"the euro would be a bit more stable and there will be less nervousness on the financial markets\". \"We have lost confidence. That goes very quickly. Winning it back is especially difficult and takes a long time,\" said the minister on German radio, pointing to the difficulty of taking decisions at a European level. But Van Rompuy noted a \"genuine willingness amongst EU leaders to address the systemic nature of the crisis\". \"To finish a house half-built,\" added the EU leader, who was to meet with French President Francois Hollande later in the day and with Greek leader Antonis Samaras and Italy\'s Mario Monti on Thursday. EU Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso made the same point in an opinion piece in German business newspaper Handelsblatt. \"There is sufficient political will in the EU to do everything necessary to protect the euro, because the the future of the single currency is also the future of European integration,\" he said. At the same time, political leaders are not hiding the fact that they are hoping for the central bank to unveil fresh crisis busting action when it holds its monthly policy meeting on Thursday. Bank chief Mario Draghi whetted the market\'s appetite when he said last week that it might have to \"go beyond standard monetary policy tools\" to achieve its mandate of maintaining price stability. In a piece published in German daily Die Zeit, the central bank head argued that when markets are \"fragmented or influenced by fears, our monetary policy signals do not reach citizens evenly across the euro area.\" \"We have to fix such blockages to ensure a single monetary policy and therefore price stability for all euro area citizens,\" the Italian central banker said. Van Rompuy signaled his full support for the ECB\'s actions \"to deal with the fragmentation in financial markets.\" Meanwhile, Schaeuble ruled out a third aid package for Greece, saying: \"The costs for Greece are already very high and therefore we cannot have a new programme for Greece.\" In May 2010, Greece became the first eurozone country to receive a bailout, winning a 110-billion-euro ($138-billion) package in exchange for tough austerity measures. Then in October 2011, the eurozone cobbled together a second package of 130 billion euros, with an additional private debt write-off worth 100 billion euros. Still teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, Greece needs to convince an international team of creditors dubbed the \"troika\" that Athens is making enough progress in cuts and reforms to unlock a key tranche of this second bailout. The troika\'s report is expected in October, Schaeuble said.

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