Bundesbank chief says ECB bond-buying risks becoming addictive
FRANKFURT Aug 26 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank's plan for a new programme to buy government bonds of struggling euro zone members risks becoming addictive, Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said in a magazine interview released on Sunday.
The ECB is being forced to take a greater role in fighting the euro zone crisis while the bloc's governments negotiate legal and political hurdles to coordinating a longer-term response, but the Bundesbank wants to limit central bank action.
ECB President Mario Draghi is expected to detail the bond-buying plan after a Sept. 6 meeting of the bank's 23-member Governing Council. Draghi said after the last policy meeting on Aug. 2 that Weidmann had reservations about the plan.
"Such a policy is for me close to state financing via the printing press," Weidmann told Germany's Der Spiegel. "In democracies, it is parliaments and not central banks that should decide on such a comprehensive pooling of risks."
Financing governments has been a taboo for the ECB. Weidmann's predecessor as Bundesbank chief, Axel Weber, quit last year in protest at the ECB's existing, but now dormant, bond-buy plan - the Securities Markets Programme (SMP).
"We should not underestimate the risk that central bank financing can become addictive like a drug," Weidmann said.
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