ECB policymakers speak about EU crisis, forward guidance (Barcelona) - This Wednesday abounds with ECB Governing Council member speeches, focusing on the Eurozone crisis developments and the central bank's monetary policy.

In the European morning ECB policymaker Benoît Cœuré insisted that the Eurozone is still "engulfed in a severe crisis" and that the central bank is prepared to closely follow the developments in the area and react to them flexibly.

Christian Noyer, who spoke sometime later at a financial conference in Paris, also saw downside risks to the Eurozone economy and reiterated that the ECB's monetary policy would remain accomodative for as long as needed. He also assured that the forward guidance on rates, introduced by Mario Draghi last week, was consistent with the central bank's mandate.

Furthermore, Noyer referred to the situation on Italy, which saw its sovereign credit rating downgraded yesterday by Standard & Poor's to BBB, saying that this emphasized the need for stepping up structural reforms in the entire euro area. “Secondly, it's necessary to continue building a banking union to have a single supervisor and mechanisms for winding down failing banks,” he added.

Meanwhile, ECB Governing Council member Carlos Costa, who appeared at a conference about the future of Europe, suggested that the debt crisis affected individual Eurozone countries in a different way.

Jörg Asmussen is due to speak in the European afternoon and is expected to expand on the ECB's forward guidance on rates and its time horizon.

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