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ECB ready to adjust monetary policy, Coeure says in Greek paper

ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure

The European Central Bank is ready to adjust its monetary policy further if needed and boost bank liquidity, ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure said in an essay published in Greek newspaper Ta Nea on Saturday.

Coeure said the ECB’s measures so far have contributed to stability in the euro zone while its recent decisions have ensured a particularly accommodative direction in monetary policy in the single-currency bloc.

“The ECB will provide additional liquidity to banks on the condition that they increase credit directed to the real economy, and it is ready to further adjust the direction of its monetary policy, if needed,” Coeure said in his commentary, translated by Reuters.

He said the EU and the European Investment Bank could also bolster economic recovery as long as governments at a national level were effective in managing the funds.

The main challenge faced by the euro zone in the coming years is preventing vulnerabilities from surfacing anew, Coeure said, adding that euro zone countries, including Greece, still need to pursue reforms.

“And this must happen, not in order to satisfy Brussels’s, Frankfurt’s or Washington’s expectations, but the interest of consumers, workers, businesses and for social justice,” he said.

Greece has agreed to implement structural reforms in exchange for bailout loans from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Coeure met Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and top officials including central bank chief Yannis Stournaras during a visit in Athens, ahead of talks between the government and its foreign lenders in Paris next month, which will kick off the country’s next bailout review.

Crisis-hit Greece is expected to post moderate growth of 0.6 percent this year and pull itself out of a six-year recession induced by austerity, which has squeezed households, eroded living standards and forced thousands out of work.

Coeure said the euro zone still has a significant deficit of growth and employment.

“Europeans are jointly responsible to deal with these challenges,” he said.

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