FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Were Greece to leave the euro, it would not have the same impact on the euro zone as it would have had two years ago, an ECB policymaker said on Monday, urging the Greek government to provide “numbers” to qualify for further aid.
“One should not overestimate the whole story,” Ewald Nowotny, a member of the European Central Bank’s policy-setting Governing Council, told broadcaster CNBC. He said he did not expect a deal when euro zone ministers meet later this week.
“It (a Greek exit) does not have that impact or potential impact on the euro zone as it would have had ... some two years ago. I really don’t see a contagion in the financial and economic sense,” he said. Nowotny added, however, that he could not predict the “psychological effect”.
The head of Austria’s central bank urged the government in Athens to provide “numbers”. “Time is running out,” he said.
Asked if a euro [EUR=] weakening to parity with the dollar would not be unwelcome, Nowotny reiterated that the ECB does not target exchange rates as part of its monetary policy.
“Historically, we have had a situation already when there had been parity, so it would not be something unheard of, but it’s very difficult to make forecasts,” he said.
“It’s not part of our goals. We would observe it (but) it would not have any major, direct reactions on that. This is market driven, so let’s see how the markets react.”
Reporting By John O'Donnell; Editing by Jonathan Gould/Mark Heinrich