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Nowotny Says ECB Shouldn't Set Up Conditions

European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said the central bank shouldn’t be involved in setting conditions for a country seeking aid from the region’s bailout fund.

“The ECB is not a European IMF,” Nowotny said in an interview in Tokyo today. “That also means hammering out specific macroeconomic conditions isn’t something the ECB wants to be involved with.”

Nowotny, who heads Austria’s central bank, said that it “makes sense to use the expertise” of the International Monetary Fund. It “underlines the clear view of the ECB that we are in the field of monetary policy,” he said.

Rather than negotiating terms, the ECB should focus on observing “whether they will be fulfilled,” he said. “We don’t want to do business in discussing this directly with the countries involved.”

Asked whether the IMF should also be involved financially in the ECB’s planned unlimited bond-buying program, Nowotny said “there is a certain discussion” and “it is a bit a question of what would add more credibility to the operation.”

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