REVEALED: Shock graph showing just how ECB has propped up DEBT ADDICTED Eurozone

Thursday, August 10, 2017
By Paul Martin

THE eurozone has built up a dangerous addiction to debt, which is laid bare in a stark graph of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) balance sheet.

Thu, Aug 10, 2017

At the height of the eurozone financial crisis in 2012, ECB chief Mario Draghi promised to do “whatever it takes” to prevent the bloc’s economy from collapsing.

The central bank has since unleashed experimental and extreme measures, which include slashing interest rates below zero and pumping trillions of euros into the economy.

The ECB’s balance sheet is now worth more than £4trillion and rises every month.

And the success of the measures is questionable, with Mr Draghi routinely forced to defend the actions.

Inflation remains well below the two per cent targeted by the ECB and unemployment is still at almost 10 per cent.

The bloc’s economy has squeezed out a slow recovery in growth – but this appears to have been entirely built on the giant pile of debt.

Policymakers face the daunting task of trying to wean the eurozone off the measures without shocking the economy back into decline.

The money-printing programme was supposed to come to an end in March, but Mr Draghi announced it would be extended until December, albeit at a lower rate.

It’s thought the ECB president will shortly announce another extension to the so-called Quantitative Easing (QE) programme into next year.

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