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ECB Decision Is ‘Step Forward’ for Euro, Visco Tells Repubblica

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Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The outcome of the Aug. 2 European Central Bank meeting is “an important step forward for the common currency and for spreads,” Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco told daily la Repubblica in an interview published today.

Deciding that the ECB “can and must intervene” to remove obstacles to the monetary union if there are risks for the euro is a “turning point,” Visco said.

There wasn’t “division” between policy makers at the meeting, just “discussion”, Visco said, adding that Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann expressed “well-known perplexities” regarding direct bond buying in the secondary market.

Asked why the ECB didn’t cut interest rates at the meeting, Visco said that if the economy continues to slow down “we can expect a more accomodating monetary policy in the next few months”.

“For the moment Italy doesn’t need to tap” the temporary European rescue fund, the Bank of Italy governor told the newspaper. “Monti is on the right track, but now he needs to speed up reforms,” he said. The economic emergency is not over, Visco told the daily, adding that 2013 will be “a year of recession” for the world economy.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Chiara Vasarri in Rome at cvasarri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dick Schumacher at dschumacher@bloomberg.net