The Wall Street Journal: ECB’s Draghi rejects talk of Greek exit
WASHINGTON—European Central Bank President Mario Draghi rejected speculation that Greece may be forced to abandon the euro, reiterating that the single eurozone currency is irrevocable.
At a news conference on Saturday during meetings of the International Monetary Fund, Draghi said he stood by a comment he made in August 2012 that the euro “cannot be reversed.”
Draghi said at the time that “there is no going back to the lira or the drachma or to any other currency. It is pointless to bet against the euro. It is pointless to go short on the euro.”
On Saturday, he said he would “say exactly the same words today.”
His comments came as concerns have intensified in financial markets that Greece might not be able to come to an agreement with its international creditors to unlock billions of euros in bailout money that Athens needs to repay the IMF and redeem bonds help by the ECB later this year.
If Greece defaults on its debts, that would in turn threaten the country’s banks and make it harder for the ECB to approve emergency lending via the Greek central bank.
Draghi declined to say how the ECB would react to any Greek default, saying: “I don’t want even to contemplate” such a scenario.
“We all want Greece to succeed,” Draghi said, adding, “the answer is in the hands of the Greek government.”
An expanded version of this report is available at WSJ.com