Bloomberg News

Ex-ECB Orphanides Says Greek Election Is Not End of the Crisis

June 18, 2012

Former European Central Bank Governing Council member Athanasios Orphanides said the outcome of yesterday’s Greek election did not end the region’s debt crisis and he’s “not surprised” by surging Spanish bond yields.

Greeks voting for pro-bailout parties “was a very positive result for Europe as a whole” as “it gives time to the political leadership in Europe,” he said in an interview on Bloomberg Radio today.

Orphanides, whose term at the ECB finished in May and who will begin teaching at the MIT Sloan School of Management later this year, urged European leaders to push for “greater political integration which is necessary to put the crisis to bed.”

Spanish 10-year bonds slid today, pushing yields to more than 7 percent, after yesterday’s elections failed to assure investors that politicians will be able to tame a debt crisis that is now in its third year and has seen four countries applying for bailouts. Europe’s leaders will pledge to “mobilize all levers and instruments” to tackle the turmoil, according to a draft document prepared for a June 28-29 summit in Brussels.

Orphanides said he’s “optimistic that we’ll have the bold political decisions” needed at the summit. At the same time, he said he supports countries that reject common bonds and a fiscal union “because we do not have the safeguards on spending by the various member states to make that work in the long term.”

He said he backed the alternative proposal of a banking union, including a euro-area deposit guarantee scheme, a banking resolution authority and region-wide banking supervision, as such a union would help “delink the sovereign from the banks.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Gabi Thesing in London at gthesing@bloomberg.net; Tom Keene in New York at tkeene@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net


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