ECB's Draghi hints that Greece may qualify for QE once in programme

European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi on Thursday indicated that Greece may soon qualify to join the ECB's quantitative easing programme once it gets its 3rd bailout, provided that it sticks to the terms.

He also joined the other two creditor institutions, the European Commission and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in saying that Greece needs significant debt restructuring or relief:

“It’s uncontroversial that debt relief is necessary and I think that nobody has ever disputed that. The issue is what is the best form of debt relief within our framework, within our legal institutional framework.

I think we should focus on this point in the coming weeks,” he said.

Speaking to the press, Draghi said that the ECB was working on the assumption that Greece remains in the eurozone, regarding his decision to raise the ceiling on Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) for Greek banks by 900 million euros.

He was strongly critical of those pushing for a reduction in ELA, saying those exerting those pressures did not respect the ECB's mandate as Europe's central bank and adding that neither the ECB nor the Bank of Greece "can take decisions as to which country will be part of the eurozone."

Asked whether banks in Greece will open, he admitted that their closure was damaging Greece's economy but noted that capital controls were necessary to prevent a bank run.

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