Moody's Investors Service said the fiscal adjustment programs and structural reforms being implemented in several Eurozone countries to correct external imbalances are only half-way done and may take many more years to complete.
"The correction is at best only half-way complete, depending on the country in question, and could take several years," the rating agency said in a new report published late Monday.
It noted that the execution of a number of structural reforms by the euro area's periphery countries such as Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain have achieved improvements.
However, these reforms have not yet fully resolved the external imbalances that developed in these countries prior to the crisis, Moody's noted.
"The complete unwinding of the periphery countries' accumulated imbalances, which were due to the dis-saving behaviour in their respective domestic private sectors rather than their governments, may still take several years," Moody's said.
The report also stressed on the need to pursue structural reforms for the achievement of sustainable gains.
Speculations are rife that the European Central Bank will step in to contain the debt crisis in the near future after a recent statement by ECB President Mario Draghi that the bank will do "whatever it takes" to preserve the euro.
Germany's Der Spiegel magazine reported Sunday that the ECB is considering setting limits on yields of Eurozone sovereign bonds and that the bank will intervene whenever the interest rates exceed a pre-determined threshold above German bonds.
However, the ECB reportedly rejected such speculation. The central bank said reports about the plan to cap borrowing costs is misleading.
Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is expected to meet some of the leaders of the currency bloc this week to request an extension of its fiscal consolidation program.
Samaras will be visiting Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who heads the group of euro-area finance ministers, on Wednesday. He is expected to request for a two-year extension for the country's fiscal adjustment program.
Samaras will travel to Berlin on Friday to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The premier will also hold talks with French President Francois Hollande by the end of the week.
by RTT Staff Writer
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