European Central Bank board member Joerg Asmussen on Tuesday called for more action after 25 out of 27 EU states agreed a pact for stricter budget discipline, hailing the move as a first step towards fiscal union that could help regain market trust.
Effective implementation of the pact should strengthen market confidence in the sustainability of public finances in the euro zone member states, Asmusssen told Reuters.
Further ambitious measures will have to follow in order to secure a degree of fiscal coordination in the future in tune with the requirements for stability of the currency union.
Asmussen welcomed the accord signed by all but Britain and the Czech Republic. The ECB has long pressed euro zone governments to get their financial houses in order.
I would have the expectation that at least all euro zone countries implement the fiscal compact swiftly and completely, Asmussen said. The pact comes into effect once 12 states have ratified it.
ECB President Mario Draghi has also welcomed the deal, although some EU diplomats say it was mostly a political gesture to calm German voters angry at repeated euro zone bailouts.
After nearly three years of crisis, some economists believe the combination of tighter budget rules, a bigger bailout fund and a commitment to broader structural reforms to boost EU productivity could help the region weather the storm.
(Reporting by Gernot Heller)