Draghi in Triple Hot Seat May Seek Verbal Escape Route

It’s not going to be easy for Mario Draghi today. The President of the European Central Bank is often lauded as a straight talker. He might have to be just the opposite when he gives a press conference at 14:30 CET in Frankfurt.

There are three main topics on the board, none of them easy. First, the strength of the euro is becoming a problem. He may feel the need to talk it down a bit, but without reversing his relatively upbeat comments on the prospects for a euro-area economic recovery.

Second, the Monte dei Paschi banking scandal is burning in Italy, but he’ll somehow have to take the heat out of it in Frankfurt. As there’s an ongoing criminal probe, there may be little he can say.

Last, Ireland’s hopes of a quick ECB deal to resolve its banking woes were dashed last night as Governing Council members decided they needed more time to mull the consequences. Until they’ve done that, he might be mindful of an old Irish idiom: Whatever you say, say nothing.

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