BERLIN Dec 29 Bundesbank President Jens
Weidmann warned against complacency in the struggle to overcome
the euro zone sovereign debt crisis and also denied he had
considered quitting due to differing views with ECB President
Mario Draghi, a newspaper reported.
Weidmann told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, in
an interview to appear on Sunday, that the causes of the
sovereign debt crisis have not yet been tackled and that he
feared it would be dangerous if political leaders were to relax
"The causes haven't been removed," Weidmann told the Sunday
newspaper in comments made available on Saturday.
It could be dangerous if crisis fatigue were to start
spreading, he said, and "if political leaders decided they don't
want to have anything to do with the crisis anymore and expect
the central bank to save the day".
Weidmann said he did not believe the comments from Draghi
that the ECB was ready to "do whatever it takes to preserve the
euro" had marked a turnaround in the euro zone crisis. He added
nothing had changed with regards to his dissent with Draghi.
"I fear the stability policy risks and the dangers of mixing
monetary and fiscal policy," Weidmann said. He added: "The euro
zone system cannot be allowed to get close to monetary state
Weidmann said the period of low inflation rates could end
quickly. "That can change if the economy picks up again and
interest rates have to be raised," he said, adding that was why
he considered it "extremely dangerous" that some were "talking
about whether to allow a bit more inflation".
Weidmann also rejected the suggestion he had considered
resigning due to his dissent with Draghi, as his predecessor
Axel Weber had.
"What would that accomplish if all the Bundesbank presidents
were to resign?" Weidmann said. "Then they would all keep
resigning until someone came along to rubber stamp it all."
In a separate interview with Deutschlandfunk radio, the head
of the German banking association (BdB), Michael Kemmer, said
there had been many positive developments in the last year in
fighting the sovereign debt crisis.
"We're certainly in better shape at the end of 2012 than we
were at the beginning of the year," Kemmer said. "There were
many positive developments in 2012, more and faster than one
could have expected."
He said it was positive that European leaders had made a
clear decision to help Greece stay in the euro zone.
"It was a smart decision," he said. "The solidarity
community was kept in tact, and that is, I believe, the most
important point as far as 2012 is concerned."
(Reporting By Erik Kirschbaum; editing by Jane Baird)