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New York Times praises ECB's 'Super Mario' Draghi

Central banker likened to Germany soccer nemesis Pirlo

New York Times praises ECB's 'Super Mario' Draghi

(ANSA) - New York, September 11 - "Super Mario to the Rescue" reads the headline on a New York Times column praising European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi for his latest plan to help struggling eurozone nations survive the debt crisis. The editorial, which ran Sunday in the New York Times and Monday in the International Herald Tribune, compares Draghi to a star soccer player able to dodge through opposition and turmoil to achieve his goals. "I prefer to see him as Andrea Pirlo, the Italian midfielder with 360-degree vision, never hurried, always assured, master of the short and the long pass, bane of Germany, a fantasist who hits the target with precision," reads the column. It particularly praised Draghi's ability to overcome German opposition to see his bond-buying plan come to life, describing how "Super Mario" is able to undo Germany "...with a series of feints that have left hardline Bundesbank bruisers looking as nimble and effective as beached whales," reads the editorial. "Little by little, Mario Draghi, the Italian president of the European Central Bank, has taken an institution whose overriding mission was to keep inflation in check...and turned it into a lender of last resort prepared to throw everything into buying the distressed euro-zone sovereign debt of countries like Spain and Italy and so preserve the euro". Led by Draghi, the ECB announced last week an unlimited bond-purchase program in order to better manage interest rates in the euro area and provide some protection for the common currency by countering financial-market speculation about the euro's future. An "appropriate conditions" clause tells governments in troubled countries, including Italy and Spain, that they must formally request assistance under the program and live with whatever stringent conditions may be imposed. That means ECB bond purchases would be conditional on governments signing up to a European Financial Stability Facility or European Stability Mechanism programme.

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