Stournaras backs calls for eurozone integration


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

“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 eurozone should be strengthened because the ECB cannot be the single institution responsible for ensuring the eurozone’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 eurozone 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 eurozone budget that would be voted through by a eurozone parliament and supervised by a eurozone finance minister.

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