Austerity Protests in Naples As ECB Meeting Was Taking Place

Mario Draghi gave an impassioned defence of the European Central Bank’s role in the eurozone crisis as anti-austerity protestors took to the streets of Naples blaming the central bank for economic misery.

The ECB’s president rejected the suggestion that the bank had been an agent of doom for the people of Italy and the wider economic bloc because of its role in pushing spending cuts and tax rises in some of the worst hit countries in the region.

Speaking after the October meeting of the ECB’s governing council in Naples, he insisted the it had instead taken radical steps in recent months to breathe some life into the eurozone’s flagging economy.

“I think the description of the ECB here as the guilty actor needs to be corrected. Go back and ask yourself how you were two and a half, three years ago. The financial system seemed on the verge of collapsing.”

Draghi appeared to be stung as the bank became the subject of protests in his home country. Protestors held banners declaring “block the ECB” and “job insecurity, poverty, unemployment, speculation. Free us from the ECB.”

Reeling out a list of measures introduced by the ECB over recent months to combat weak growth and low inflation, Draghi said they were expected to have a “sizeable impact” on the eurozone economy. He added: “We have done a lot since June, quite unprecedented. We have decided a massive amount of measures now and we haven’t yet seen the impact on the economy.”

via The Guardian

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza