Bloomberg News

ECB’s Makuch Says Economy Could Shrink If Risks Materialize

October 13, 2011

(Updates with comments from Makuch in second paragraph.)

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank Governing Council member Jozef Makuch said the 17-member euro-region economy may fail to grow if downside risks materialize.

Negative growth rates of gross domestic product can’t be ruled out, Makuch told reporters in Bratislava today. “At this point, I don’t expect GDP to turn negative unless downside risks materialize.”

Makuch, who is governor of Slovakia’s central bank, said it’s not up to the ECB to recapitalize euro-area banks if needed. “At first, it’s up to markets, and then governments,” he said. “It isn’t the ECB’s task.”

Referring to the ECB’s program of purchasing sovereign debt of distressed euro-area countries, Makuch said he sees no reason for the Frankfurt-based central bank to maintain the plan after upgrades to Europe’s bailout fund have taken effect.

--Editors: Simone Meier, James M. Gomez

To contact the reporters on this story: Radoslav Tomek in Bratislava at; Peter Laca in Prague at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at

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