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File photo of European Central Bank's Ewald Nowotny. (HEINZ-PETER BADER/HEINZ-PETER BADER/REUTERS)
File photo of European Central Bank's Ewald Nowotny. (HEINZ-PETER BADER/HEINZ-PETER BADER/REUTERS)

Euro zone north-south split to grow: ECB Add to ...

The gap between northern and southern euro zone countries will widen in 2012 and probably in the two following years, European Central Bank policy maker Ewald Nowotny said on Tuesday.

“Such a divergence is unfortunately to be expected in 2012 and also probably for the next two years,” Mr. Nowotny, who is also the head of Austria’s central bank, said in a chatroom discussion on Austrian newspaper Der Standard’s website.

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“After that, the effects of the structural measures adopted in the meantime should work and show up in correspondingly higher growth rates in the states.”

Mr. Nowotny added that Portugal’s debt and foreign trade position was better than that of Greece. He was responding to a question about comments by the chief executive of fund giant PIMCO, who told German magazine Der Spiegel he expected Portugal to be the next euro zone country to falter.

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