May 24 - The euro zone is more stable than a year ago but economic conditions remain challenging and governments must push on with reforms and banking union plans, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Thursday. Rough-cut (No reporter narration).
(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) Speaking in London almost a year after he vowed to do "whatever it takes" to save the euro, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said European countries should strengthen their ties and flesh out plans made last June for closer integration, including a banking union. This would involve them sacrificing some national sovereignty on budget and structural policies. In a rare comment into politics beyond the euro zone, Draghi also urged Britain to strengthen its ties with other European Union members, saying: "Europe needs a more European UK as much as the UK needs a more British Europe." British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to renegotiate Britain's EU role and hold a referendum on its membership before the end of 2017, provided he wins the next general election in 2015. Draghi's speech in London last July sucked the heat out of the euro zone crisis. Markets bought his "whatever it takes" promise and were further convinced the ECB would backstop the euro when the bank subsequently presented its bond-buying plan. The ECB's determined action had bought time for governments to consolidate their finances and banks to shore up their capital positions, Draghi said.