Italian Central Bank chief says uneven vaccination pace a threat to global recovery

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Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco told the Financial Times newspaper in an interview that the biggest threat to a global economic recovery is the irregular pace at which countries are vaccinating their populations against COVID-19.

A patchy vaccine rollout could result in sharply different recoveries for developed and developing nations, he said in the interview published on Sunday, ahead of the country hosting a G20 summit on Wednesday.

“We need to maintain close international co-operation within the G20 to avoid that the different stages of the vaccination campaign in the various countries result in excessive divergences of the respective economies,” Visco was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Italy, which heads the G20 this year, is pushing for a $500 billion issuance of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), a move backed by many other G20 members as a way to provide liquidity to poor countries hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic without increasing their debt levels.

Increasing the issuance of IMF special drawing rights in order to assist developing economies in their recovery will be one of the major talking points at the meeting, Visco said.

But the most important thing right now is getting people vaccinated, he said.

“The main instrument we have at the moment is neither monetary nor fiscal, it is vaccinations,” Visco told the paper. 

Main Photo: Bank of Italy (Banca d’Italia) Governor Ignazio Visco. EPA-EFE/MASSIMO PERCOSSI

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