Draghi: ECB is ready for "all contingencies" after British referendum

The European Central Bank (ECB) is "ready for all contingencies" following this week's referendum on Britain's future in the European Union, its chief Mario Draghi said Tuesday.

British voters will decide on Thursday whether their country is to stay in the EU or leave the 28-member bloc.

Financial experts expect a so-called Brexit - or a British departure from the EU - to trigger market turmoil, as it would launch a period of uncertainty while London negotiates its future relationship with the bloc.

"It is very difficult to foresee ... the various dimensions in which the vote in the UK would impact on the markets and on the economies of the eurozone," Draghi told EU lawmakers in Brussels on Tuesday.

"It is quite clear that the event will have both short-term and long-term effects," he added, while noting that it was difficult not only to speculate on the outcome of the vote, but also to predict its full impact.

"We want to be prepared for all possibilities," the ECB chief said.

This mostly involved making sure that existing arrangements for the Frankfurt-based bank to stabilize markets and provide liquidity are "usable, active and adequate," Draghi noted.

"I think we have done all the preparation that's necessary," he added.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

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