Senior Economics Correspondent, Germany
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Mar 12, 2015

Weidmann rejects Greek criticism of ECB, puts onus on governments to help Athens

FRANKFURT, March 12 (Reuters) – ECB policymaker Jens
Weidmann put the onus squarely on governments on Thursday to
decide whether they wanted to cover Greece’s funding needs,
saying this was “less than ever” a task for the euro zone’s
central banks.

Rejecting the Greek finance minister’s characterisation of
ECB policy towards Athens as “asphyxiating”, Weidmann said
Greece had lost a lot of trust and that he did not see the
country regaining access to capital markets by mid-year.

Mar 11, 2015

Draghi: ECB action shields euro zone states from Greek contagion

FRANKFURT, March 11 (Reuters) – European Central Bank buying
of government and other debt may be shielding countries in the
euro zone from any knock-on effect from events in Greece, ECB
President Mario Draghi said on Wednesday.

The ECB began a policy of printing money to buy sovereign
bonds, or quantitative easing, on Monday with a view to
supporting growth and lifting euro zone inflation from below
zero up towards its target of just under 2 percent.

Mar 2, 2015

ECB uncomfortable with leading role in Greek funding drama

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – European Central Bank policymakers decamp to Cyprus on Wednesday wrestling with the uncomfortable fact that they may hold the keys to Greece’s continued membership of the euro.

With no political appetite for a ‘transfer union’ that could see wealthier countries subsidize Greece, the central bank figures prominently among the main options for staving off an impending funding crunch in Athens.

Feb 26, 2015

Euro zone lending shows sign of turnaround as morale improves

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Bank lending in the euro zone fell slightly in January but at a slower pace than a month earlier, suggesting the economy may be turning a corner as consumer morale picks up in the bloc’s largest economies.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said late on Wednesday that “all in all, the outlook is more positive than it was a few months ago” in the 19-country euro zone, which has been blighted by recession in the south and falling prices.

Feb 18, 2015

ECB tightens pressure on Greece with cap on bank funding

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank agreed a modest increase in emergency funding for Greek banks on Wednesday, putting pressure on Athens to strike a financing deal with its European partners before its lenders run out of money.

The ECB Governing Council, meeting in Frankfurt, agreed to raise the provision of Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) to 68.3 billion euros ($78 billion), a person familiar with the ECB talks said.

Feb 17, 2015

Greece faces resistance to extra emergency funds for banks -sources

FRANKFURT, Feb 18 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank
faces resistance from Germany to allowing any extra emergency
lending for Greek banks, people familiar with the matter said,
increasing pressure on Athens to sign up to an extended
aid-for-reform programme.

After talks between Greece and euro zone creditors broke
down acrimoniously on Monday, the ECB’s policymaking governing
council will review on Wednesday how far the country may support
its weak banks, which face rising deposit outflows.

Feb 15, 2015

Bank funding powers make Greece vulnerable to ECB pressure

FRANKFURT, Feb 15 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank’s
control over emergency funding for banks gives it the power to
prod countries into the kind of aid-and-reform programme that
Greece is desperate to escape.

The ECB is loath to pull the plug on Greece’s banks, a
scenario that would almost certainly lead to the country’s exit
from the euro zone. But if Athens refuses to extend the existing
programme or sign up to a new one it may have little choice.

Feb 15, 2015

ECB has track record with funding stick it holds over Greece

FRANKFURT, Feb 15 (Reuters) – With its power over emergency
funding for banks, the European Central Bank wields a big stick
that it has past form in waving to badger countries into the
kind of aid-and-reform programme that Greece is desperate to
escape.

The ECB is loath to pull the plug on Greece’s banks, a
scenario that would almost certainly lead to the country’s exit
from the euro zone, but if authorities in Athens refuse to
extend the existing programme or sign up to a new one it may
have little choice.

Feb 4, 2015

German ZEW chief sees one in five chance of Greece leaving euro

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The probability of Greece leaving the euro zone has jumped from virtually nothing to at least 20 percent since Syriza’s Jan. 25 election victory, the head of the German ZEW think tank told Reuters.

In an interview for a Reuters summit on the euro zone, ZEW chief Clemens Fuest said the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras risked talking Greece out of the bloc with unrealistic plans, a scenario that no one wanted.

Jan 31, 2015

Germany, ECB play hardball with Greece

BERLIN/HELSINKI (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out a debt writedown for Greece on Saturday, and a European Central Bank policymaker threatened to cut off funding to Greek banks if Athens does not agree to renew its bailout package.

The euro zone’s paymaster and the ECB are both taking a tough line with Greece’s new leftist government, whose leader swept to victory last Sunday promising that five years of austerity, “humiliation and suffering” were over.

    • About Paul

      "I lead our economic news file from Berlin, where we report on the performance of the German economy – Europe’s largest – and economic policy: everything from financial regulation to dealing with the euro zone debt crisis. I previously reported on political and economic news from Paris and on earlier assignments worked in Frankfurt, Vienna and London."
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