Following a governing council meeting of the European Central Bank it was announced that quantitative easing will begin in the eurozone from next Monday. In a desperate move to stimulate the euro, the currency used by 19 EU countries, the ECB will print money to buy €60bn worth of bonds each month. The bank has raised its eurozone economic growth forecast for this year from 1% to 1.5% but ECB President, Mario Draghi, has warned that the euro will only emerge from its slump if some eurozone countries implement major structural reforms.
Greece is currently the ECB’s biggest headache as the country owes the bank €100bn. There are still concerns that a Greek exit from the euro, because of its enormous debt burden, could spell disaster for the ailing currency.
Since the anti-austerity government was formed in Greece last January billions of euro have been withdrawn from the country’s banks as people fear their money will vanish. That trend is continuing, undermining the credibility of the euro currency.
The eurozone crisis will be one of the main items on the agenda when EU heads of government hold a summit here in two week’s time. Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, will be pressed by his counterparts, most notably German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to give specific details on what measures he intends to implement to meet the terms of his country’s enormous €240bn bailout.
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