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‘We fear credit crunch’: ECB council member

Published on 16/12/2011

European Central Bank governing council member Yves Mersch warned of the dangers of a credit crunch in the wake of the debt crisis in the 17-nation eurozone on German television late on Thursday.

“We fear a credit crunch, which could push our economies — even the strongest — into a new recession,” Mersch, who is head of the Luxembourg central bank, said on ZDF public television.

“For us, it’s not about banks making profits, it’s about them supplying the economy with credit,” Mersch said, justifying the recent raft of measures undertaken by the ECB to keep the banking sector flush with liquidity.

Banks provided as much as 75 percent companies’ financing in the eurozone, he noted.

Mersch reiterated the ECB’s opposition to the creation of eurobonds, saying “that would be a solution only if all countries had triple-A ratings.”