Outgoing European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi was honored by the Academy of Athens for his role in rescuing the European economic and monetary union and for his response and actions in dealing with the debt crisis in the Eurozone.

«His contribution is significant and is universally recognized,» said Academy of Athens President Stefanos Imellos.

In his address to the Academy, Draghi spoke on stabilising policies in a monetary union. True convergence, he said, is important for the cohesion of a monetary union, therefore the proper national and EU policies are vital in helping countries hurt by the recent crisis, especially Greece, to reach convergence.

He defended the policy of negative interest rates and quantitative easing the ECB had adopted, and said these policies should be also be implemented in the long-term.

Draghi stressed that the resilience of the Eurozone after several years of crisis proved critics wrong. Many countries, especially Greece, had exerted significant efforts to prosper as part of the monetary union, he said, and he noted that the euro is held in high esteem as a currency.

The outgoing ECB chief also pointed out that the monetary union was not prepared to face the crisis – which few people foresaw – noting that there is enough experience now to know what stabilises countries and what the threats are to this stability.

Mario Draghi was introduced by former caretaker prime minister and former ECB vice president Loukas Papademos, who said that Draghi’s contribution to the recovery of the Eurozone was «decisive».

Among Draghi’s achievements were tackling the 2011-12 and 2015 financial crises, and «contributing constructively and decisively» to resolving Greek bank recapitalization and debt restructuring problems, Papademos noted.

Source: Athens News Agency