European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi called on Wednesday for a eurozone-wide initiative to boost growth in the single currency region to complement a recently agreed “fiscal compact”.
“What is most present in my mind is to have a ‘growth compact’,” Draghi told the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee at a regular hearing here.
“This was anticipated by the ‘six pack’. We now need to go back and have a ‘growth compact’,” Draghi said, referring to EU policies to foster growth in the 27-nation bloc.
His comments came as a growing number of euro-area countries are beginning to baulk at drastic belt-tightening measures being prescribed by governments in a bid to rein in their deficits.
There have been massive protests in Greece, Italy and Spain against such austerity drives.
And in France, the leading presidential candidate Francois Hollande has called for a re-negotiation of the fiscal compact to include growth measures.
But fiscal consolidation was also “unavoidable” if governments were going to regain market confidence, Draghi said, pointing out that the crisis came about because markets were no longer willing to finance governments’ unsustainable debt policies.