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cheap ray bans for sale Euro zone austerity is mostly over - ECB s CoeureReutersReuters   Fri, Oct 10, 2014

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Most European countries have already made efforts to consolidate public finances so a discussion on austerity policies in Europe is largely over, the European Central Bank s Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said on Friday.

Over the last four years European governments were forced by financial markets to implement tough belt-tightening policies because investors lost confidence that the euro zone would be able to service its large public debt.

For many European countries the fiscal adjustment is done. So the discussion of austerity is mostly behind us, Coeure said in a lecture at Johns Hopkins University in Washington.

There are a number of countries which have not done that, which are far away from their objectives. Our advice for them is not to use the fiscal space they don t have, Coeure said.

In an apparent reference to France, which has announced it would not meet EU consolidation and reform targets and wants more time to reduce its budget deficit, Coeure said that granting any special leniency to those who did not make an effort to reform would be unfair to those who did.

Some countries have done a lot of efforts, they have reformed their economies, adjusted their budgets, it has been difficult, it is now by and large done and they are starting to reap the fruits in terms of confidence, of unemployment going down, so it would just be unfair to grant now flexibility to countries which have not done the same effort, he said.

He reiterated that countries that have to continue consolidating their budgets should spend their money more wisely, choosing investment over other expenditures.

(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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