A key member of the European Central Bank (ECB) has fired a not-so-subtle warning to Germany over the central bank’s independence.
Yves Mersch, an executive board member of the ECB’s monetary decision-making body since 2012, told the Frankfurt Finance Summit Tuesday, that the ECB’s flexibility and autonomy should not be challenged.
“If some countries want now to have an extensive amount of constraint and limitation on how we exercise our monetary policy powers, this will be an attack on the independence of the central bank,” he told the audience.
“I hope this is well understood even in the largest country in Europe,” he said to the German audience, ad-libbing from prepared remarks.
The most vocal critics of the ECB’s easy monetary policy in recent years has come from within Germany. Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann has consistently criticized the slow normalization of asset purchases and interest rates in the region.
Luxembourg-born Mersch was giving a speech in order to outline why the ECB needs new policy tools if it is to supervise firms that clear financial transactions denominated in euros.