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Business & Finance

ECB's Visco says euro can only last if euro zone becomes a single state

  • A stateless currency can last for a certain amount of time but then there is a need for a state and a budget union.
  • Visco's message was similar to the one given by former ECB chief Mario Draghi last week in his maiden speech to parliament as Italy's new prime minister.
Updated 22 Feb 2021

ROME: The euro currency can only survive in the long term if euro zone member countries agree to form a federal state and the COVID-19 pandemic is now partly pushing them in this direction, European Central Bank policymaker Ignazio Visco said on Monday.

"A stateless currency can last for a certain amount of time but then there is a need for a state and a budget union", the Bank of Italy governor said during an online seminar.

Underlining the anomaly of the euro zone's current institutional set-up, Visco said the ECB was "the only federal central bank of a group of countries that don't have a federal structure".

Visco's message was similar to the one given by former ECB chief Mario Draghi last week in his maiden speech to parliament as Italy's new prime minister.

Draghi told the Senate that supporting his government meant "sharing the prospect of an increasingly integrated European Union that will arrive at a common public budget".