ECB’s Asmussen Says Greek Reforms Are Starting to Show Results

European Central Bank Executive Board Member Joerg Asmussen said Greece’s government has made progress and reforms are beginning to show positive results.

“A lot has been done by the Greek authorities in the last two years -- the primary deficit has been reduced,” Asmussen said in a speech in Tokyo today. “Labour-market reforms are beginning to show positive results.”

Asmussen said the ECB is “seeing encouraging signs that the fiscal targets for next year can be met.” The best way out of its crisis for the euro area is “for Greece to reform within the euro area,” he said.

Speaking about the European Stability Mechanism, Asmussen said that “few would have predicted, in early 2010, that we would today have an international treaty ensuring balanced budgets and a permanent rescue fund of 500 billion euros” ($649 billion). At the same time, “to fully restore confidence in the euro area, we also need to fix the flaws in its institutional architecture,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Riecher in Frankfurt at sriecher@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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