Brussels

European countries can relax austerity policies, says Rehn

ECB has helped boost financial stability says commissioner

European countries can relax austerity policies, says Rehn

Brussels, April 25 - European countries like Italy have done so well with fiscal consolidation, including austerity measures, that they may now be able to slow their pace, the European Union's top economic official said Thursday. Policies can now be a bit less aggressive because of previous strong measures, said Olli Rehn, commissioner of economic and monetary affairs. The work of authorities including the European Central Bank has also contributed to greater financial stability in the region, he told a conference in Brussels. "The slowing of consolidation is now possible, thanks to the efforts made by the countries in difficulty, the commitment by the ECB, and credible budgetary policies," he said. Earlier, a senior official with the International Monetary Fund said that continued austerity policies could hurt Europe's economies and that policymakers should now turn to boosting growth.

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