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Germans rebuff calls for ECB action after summit

Published by Punch on Thu, 15 Dec 2011


Germanys chancellor and central banker urged Europe to stick to stricter budget discipline and forget about one-shot solutions after financial markets judged that another EU summit had failed to resolve the euro zones debt crisis, Reuters reported on Wednesday.Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann, speaking separately, rebuffed pressure for the European Central Bank to intervene decisively to stop the crisis escalating.Merkel told parliament on Wednesday that it would take years, not weeks, to overcome the debt problems but Europe would emerge stronger "if we have the necessary patience and endurance, if we do not let reversals get us down, if we consistently move towards a fiscal and stability union"."The German government has always made it clear that the European debt crisis is not to be solved with a single blow. There is no such single blow," she said.Weidmann, an influential voice in the ECB, made clear his opposition to ramping up purchases of troubled euro zone states debt, saying he was "no fan" of the existing limited bond-buying program and even its supporters were growing skeptical.He also said the Bundesbank would only provide fresh funds for the International Monetary Fund to help fight the euro zone crisis if countries beyond Europe did so too.The euro fell below $1.30 for the first time since January, stocks slid and Italy had to pay a euro era record yield to sell bonds as nervous investors awaited a possible credit rating downgrade for one or more euro zone countries.Rome had to pay 6.47 per cent to sell 3bn of five-year bonds, highlighting fierce market pressure ahead of a year in which Italy has a gross funding goal of 440bn, starting in late January.Safe-haven German Bund futures rose by more than one full point due to renewed doubts about the effectiveness of last weeks agreement on deeper fiscal union.Irelands European Affairs Minister, Lucinda Creighton, said last weeks summit agreement by 26 European Union states, with Britain dissenting, to negotiate a new fiscal pact to enforce EU budget rules more strictly was not going to stop the rot."Having the fiscal compact in place by March is desirable but I dont think its going to save the euro," she told reporters on a visit to Paris."Ideally (I would like to see) a very clear declaration from the ECB that it is prepared to do whatever is necessary to save the currency, and it is the ultimate backstop," Creighton said. "I dont think were there yet but I feel we will end up there."
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