Moody’s: Eurozone half-way through its crisis

The eurozone crisis is half-way done, with Greece and Ireland potentially needing until 2016 to restore the health of their finances, warned a report published today by Moody’s Investors Service.

According to research by the rating agency, the five most troubled countries of the eurozone have already taken substantial steps towards a resolution, and Spain, Portugal and Italy could restore their financial stability by 2013.

“The correction is at best only half-way complete, depending on the country in question, and could take several years,” Moody’s said.

According to the report, periphery countries such as Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain have not yet resolved the external imbalances that developed in these countries prior to the crisis, and the complete unwinding of accumulated imbalances may still take several years.

The agency also called for further structural reforms in the eurozone, necessary to achieve sustainable gains.

“There is a considerable degree of implementation risks associated with those programs, which can only be mitigated by significant domestic commitment and ownership of the reform process, eventually shored up by continued external reform anchors and possibly support,” Moody’s said.

A few days ago, a report by German magazine Der Spiegel suggested that the European Central Bank is considering setting limits on yields of eurozone sovereign bonds, intervening whenever the interest rates exceed a threshold above German bonds.

The ECB has not confirmed the speculation, and a final decision is expected to be made in September.

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