Key quotes from ECB head Draghi's press briefing

AP News
Posted: Aug 02, 2012 11:56 AM
Key quotes from ECB head Draghi's press briefing

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — European Central Bank President Mario Draghi held a news conference Thursday at which he indicated the bank stood ready to intervene in the bond markets along with the eurozone bailout fund to help drive down high borrowing costs in some countries.

Here are some highlights of the things he said:

— SAVING THE EURO. A week earlier, Draghi had said the euro was irreversible and that the ECB would do whatever it takes to save it. Journalists pressed him on what that meant: "It is pointless to bet against the euro. It is pointless to go short on the euro. That's the message. It's pointless because the euro will stay."

— NO NEW MEASURES... YET. Expectations had been that the ECB would announce on Thursday concrete new measures to ease the debt crisis, such as buying government bonds. Markets were disappointed that Draghi only said the bank was considering intervening in markets: "We're not rowing back."

— ECB POWERS. Draghi said the ECB has the right to intervene in bond markets to bring down governments' high borrowing rates: "It is within our mandate to do whatever is within our power to preserve the euro as a stable currency."

— ECB INDEPENDENCE. Draghi said the ECB would not ask European governments for permission to use new measures to fight the debt crisis: "We are independent and we don't foresee presentations to the heads of state of our monetary policy measures."

— GOVERNMENT ACTION. He noted that governments need to reform their economies to regain market trust and that actions by the ECB alone would not be enough to end the debt crisis: "Monetary policy will not be enough to achieve these objectives unless there is action by governments."