June 19, 2019 / 10:18 AM / a month ago

German conservative slams Draghi for "alarming" ECB policy comments

BERLIN, June 19 (Reuters) - A senior lawmaker from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc on Wednesday accused European Central Bank President Mario Draghi of sending an “alarming” signal about future monetary policy and essentially tying the hands of his successor.

Draghi told an ECB conference on Tuesday that the central bank would ease policy again if inflation fails to accelerate, saying that fresh bond purchases, rate cuts or changes to the ECB’s policy guidance had all been “raised and discussed” at a meeting of the Council less than two weeks ago.

“The apparently uncoordinated comments from ECB President Draghi on further monetary policy measures are an alarming signal for the European Central Bank’s integrity,” said Hans Michelbach, spokesman for Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU bloc in the Bundestag lower house of parliament’s budget committee.

“Draghi’s unilateral course also seems to be an attempt by the ECB President to send signals for the time after his term that would be difficult to correct by a successor. This move is more than questionable,” Michelbach added. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber Editing by Michelle Martin)

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