"Courageous and effective" policy actions taken by the European Central Bank have made it very likely that the eurozone will survive the current Greek crisis, said Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer on Thursday. ECB President Mario Draghi's pledge to do "whatever it takes" to protect the euro and the recently enacted bond-buying program has swayed opinion "in favor of the survival of essentially the present euro area, even though we will await the outcome of the Greek crisis, and even though we know that the present crisis is not over," Fischer said. But Fischer said the region must move forward with some unspecified form of fiscal union to make sure that member states run responsible financial and budgetary policies. More generally, the most important challenge facing the monetary union is to increase productivity growth in Europe, a challenge that faces the entire developed world, he said. "In the longer run, the European monetary union will not survive unless it brings prosperity to its members," Fischer, a former head of the Israeli central bank and number-two official at the IMF, said.
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