ECB’s Visco: Cannot Make Any Mistakes As We Approach End of Tunnel

4 April 2021

By David Barwick – FRANKFURT (Econostream) – The end of the crisis is in sight, but authorities cannot afford to make any errors as they continue to vaccinate their populations against Covid-19, and in particular must not leave other parts of the world behind, European Central Bank Governing Council member Ignazio Visco said on Sunday.

In an interview with Financial Times, Visco, who heads Banca d’Italia, said that vaccinations rather than monetary or fiscal policy were ‘[t]he main instrument we have at the moment’, but that ‘close international co-operation within the G20’ was needed ‘to avoid that the different stages of the vaccination campaign in the various countries result in excessive divergences of the respective economies.’

According to the FT, Visco said such divergences posed the gravest single risk to world economic recovery.

‘We must not waste what we have done last year: one of the main lessons from past crises is that we need to be very careful not to remove the support measures too soon’, he was quoted as saying. ‘The vaccination campaign allows us to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we cannot make any mistakes.’

Visco appeared to play down Europe’s slower progress on the vaccination front as compared to the U.S., calling the issue of ‘not so much a problem for Europe with respect to the U.S. — as the EU is aiming at immunising a substantial fraction of the population by July — it is rather a question of advanced versus developing economies.’