- The ECB skips its turn
- European partners take on the responsibility
- European rendezvous
The onset of autumn brings with it European countries’ budget season. This is a crucial period given the fact that the European fiscal pact will come into force on 1 January 2013, imposing a reduction in public finance imbalances at the double. Some member states are throwing themselves into this unflinchingly, imposing an unprecedented purge on their already economies. Others are holding off making the necessary decisions and continuing to play for time, taking advantage of the calmer weather ushered in by the ECB when it announced its latest bond buying programme or Outright Monetary Transactions. However, this respite could be shortlived. Mr Draghi reminded his audience on Thursday that the ECB would not start intervening in bond markets until Spain had asked for international assistance and accepted the conditions attached. Jörg Asmussen, member of the ECB board, also firmly rejected the Greek government’s request for ‘easy’ conditions on debt repayment. The ball is now in the member states’ camp. The meetings of Eurogroup on 8 October and the EcoFin Council on 9 October could provide a reminder of this.