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

More from Europe

EU parliament rejects money laundering blacklist for being too short

European Union lawmakers Thursday rejected a blacklist compiled by the European Commission of countries deemed to be...

ECB leaves rates on hold as its ponders global uncertainties

The European Central Bank left its monetary policy on hold Thursday as it faces up to a slew of global economic and...

Britain's May woos investors, soothes voters in Davos

Britain will emerge as the global champion of free trade after leaving the European Union, British Premier Theresa...

Germany and Austria push for extension of border controls

Germany and Austria want to extend controls at their border amid ongoing security threats, the countries' interior...

Russia rejects European court ruling to pay former Yukos shareholders

Russia's Constitutional Court has rejected a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights to pay almost 2 billion...