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Central banks ready to act after Greece vote

Friday, June 15, 2012 - 02:42

June 15 - Central banks in some of the world's major economies are ready to take action to stabilise markets as nations prepare for possible financial turmoil or public panic after the Greek elections. Joanna Partridge reports

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Gearing up for the second vote in two months. Greek officials are preparing voting stations for Sunday's cliffhanger election, which could decide the country's future in the euro. Alexis Tsipras' SYRIZA party has promised to tear up Athens' bailout deal with its international lenders. The world's economies are preparing for possible market turmoil or public panic in the wake of the vote. Officials from G20 nations, whose leaders are meeting in Mexico next week, said central banks are ready to take steps - if needed - to stabilise financial markets by providing liquidity. The Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, has already announced Britain will flood its banking system with cash to get credit flowing through the economy. SOUNDBITE: MERVYN KING, GOVERNOR OF THE BANK OF ENGLAND, SAYING (English): "The other effect of the euro area crisis has been to create a large black cloud of uncertainty hanging over not only the euro area but our economy too and indeed the world economy as a whole." The President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi says it too stands ready to act. SOUNDBITE: Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, saying (English): "The ECB has the crucial role of providing liquidity to sound bank counterparties in return for adequate collateral. This is what we have done throughout the crisis, faithful to our mandate of maintaining price stability over the medium term. And this is what we will continue to do." But, he adds, the risks are serious and politicians must act fast. Analysts say the central banks are just putting contingency plans in place in case Greece leaves the euro. Jim Bianco is from Bianco Research. SOUNDBITE: Jim Bianco, Bianco Research, saying (English): "If Greece is out of the euro then we start the game when does Spain leave, when does Portugal leave and it just snowballs in. It doesn't end with Greece it would only begin with Greece." It's Spain which has found itself at the centre of euro zone concerns since asking for a bailout for its banks last weekend. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy met with European competition chief Joaquin Almunia to discuss the rescue package. European leaders want the deal to be wrapped up by the time they meet in Brussels at the end of the month - and Spain says it's committed to its reforms. European shares crept higher on Friday as investors expected central banks to step in. But much depends on how Greece votes on Sunday - and the impact that will have on markets, the euro zone and the global economy. Joanna Partridge, Reuters

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Central banks ready to act after Greece vote

Friday, June 15, 2012 - 02:42