BERLIN The head of the German central bank has the right to express his views on the euro zone crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, after her finance minister suggested Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann's comments may be having a harmful effect.
"The European Central Bank's independence is for us important and I will not comment on (Weidmann's) remarks on ECB policy," Merkel told a news conference.
"I know him and I know he is very concerned that the crisis is resolved in a truly sustainable way and that the euro is a stable currency," she added.
In a newspaper interview at the weekend, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the German public was being unsettled by the public nature of debates within the ECB about its new bond-buying program.
Weidmann, a former Merkel advisor, has publicly criticised the bond-buying plans, saying they encroach on the taboo against central bank financing of state budgets.
(Reporting by Noah Barkin, writing by Gareth Jones)