ECB policymaker sees risks to euro growth, says Brexit a major concern

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Madrid

The balance of euro zone growth appears negative, European Central Bank (ECB) policymaker Pablo Hernandez de Cos said, citing a disorderly Brexit as a key risk and acknowledging the ECB’s shortcomings in meeting inflation goals. De Cos said in a speech in La Granda in northern Spain that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU “remains a focus of first-order uncertainty for the global economy, especially for the EU. “The most recent events, including the decision to suspend the British Parliament by the new prime minister until mid-October, have increased the likelihood of a hard Brexit,” De Cos said. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday he would suspend parliament from mid-September to mid-October ahead of an Oct. 31 Brexit deadline, raising the stakes in the country’s deepest political crisis in decades. De Cos also mentioned the political situation in Italy, doubts about the intensity of China’s economic slowdown, and vulnerabilities in emerging economies such as Turkey and Argentina as risks. He added that protectionist measures were among the greatest threats to global activity. —Arab New