Cannot wait for next crisis to complete economic union: ECB's Smets

November 18, 2016 6:41 AM EST

Belgian central bank governor Jan Smets poses ahead of an interview with Reuters in Brussels, Belgium, May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir


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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The EU's economic and monetary union (EMU) needs to be completed before another crisis strikes, European Central Bank Governing Council member Jan Smets said on Friday.

"We should take this moment to strengthen the resilience of EMU and to complete its architecture. History teaches us that it would be unwise to wait for a new crisis to do that," Smets, who heads Belgium's central bank, told a conference in Brussels.

Smets said the banking union was still to be complete with a backstop for the single resolution fund and a common deposit insurance system. He also said a capital markets union, which has been proposed by the European Commission, was required.

The four presidents of the EU institutions, including the ECB, and also the president of the Eurogroup, laid out a plan in mid-2015 to deepen EMU in two stages and complete it by 2025.

New proposals will be included in a paper to reform the euro zone to be presented by the Commission by March next year.

(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; writing by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Francesco Guarascio)



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