HONG KONG, May 22 (Reuters) - European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio said on Tuesday he does not expect Greece would exit the euro and urged Athens to work with Europe to remove the risk of its crisis spreading to other countries.
“I don’t think the worst is going to happen in Europe. I don’t anticipate Greece will exit ... but it doesn’t mean Greece will not face a difficult situation,” Constancio said in a panel discussion at a conference held by the Institute of Regulation and Risk, North Asia, in Hong Kong.
Twice bailed-out Greece is headed for crucial elections on June 17 that could determine if it continues to get funding from its currency partners and remains in the euro zone.
Constancio’s comments came a day after he said in Tokyo it was too early to consider unwinding unconventional monetary policies, but it was necessary to monitor the risks posed to price stability and investment flows.
ECB policymaker Joerg Asmussen said on Monday a European growth pact and deeper political integration in the euro zone could bolster the currency union, but there must be no softening of the bloc’s fiscal pact on budget discipline.
The ECB has helped fight the debt crisis by cutting interest rates to a record low of 1 percent, flooding financial markets with more than 1 trillion euros in three-year loans and buying struggling euro zone countries’ bonds in the secondary market.