Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann has rebuked German politicians for attempting to pressure European Central Bank chief Mario Draghiover his easy money policies, suggesting their criticism was interfering with the bank’s independence.
“It’s not unusual for politicians to have opinions on monetary policy, but we are independent,” Mr Weidmann told the Financial Times last Thursday. “The ECB has to deliver on its price stability mandate and thus an expansionary monetary policy stance is appropriate at this juncture regardless of different views about specific measures.”
The head of Germany’s central bank and his counterpart at the ECB have often been at odds over how to respond to the threat of falling prices, with Mr Weidmann frequently raising objections to measures tabled by Mr Draghi.
But they have emerged as unlikely allies at a time when monetary policymakers around the world are facing mounting criticism over record-low interest rates, including the decision by some central banks — among them the ECB — to cut rates below zero and into negative territory to counter the threat of a vicious bout of deflation.