ECB’s Coeure says ‘difficult’ to strike right balance on Greece

Finding a deal on Greece takes time because it is hard to strike the right balance between the new government’s plans and the euro zone’s rules, ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure said on Wednesday.

“We must find the right balance between two democratically legitimate things, the result of the Greek election and the euro zone rules … this is quite difficult with a new government that has a very different program. So it takes time,» Coeure told French lawmakers.

The ECB cannot finance the Greek government but can only help its banks, Coeure said.

“Let’s be clear, all those involved in the discussions want Greece to stay in the euro zone …. a Greek exit from the euro zone is not a working scenario,” he told French lawmakers.

“We’re hoping to reach in the coming weeks a deal with the Greek government which can be discussed by the Eurogroup,” he said, referring to meetings of euro zone finance ministers.

Coeure also said that Greece’s debt problem was “not an urgent problem” because fellow euro zone members were lending to Athens at low rates.


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