ECB president’s policies blamed for current euro zone woes
GUE/NGL MEPs gave the President of the European Central Bank a tough time in Strasbourg during a debate on the euro zone’s unbalanced and meagre growth.
In addition, low inflation rates and a lack of investment in the real economy were also discussed at the plenary with Mario Draghi.
Fabio De Masi, a GUE/NGL member on the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) was highly critical of Draghi’s policies and how they have damaged the real economy:
“For years now, the ECB has missed its inflation target. Cheap money has failed to revive the real economy. Instead, it has helped fuel speculation and create bubbles as banks continue to withhold credit due to their rotten balance sheets.”
“Austerity has also hampered investment in the euro zone. The ECB needs to support public investment and the German government must also be forced to increase investment.”
“Blackmailing governments that do not cut wages and pensions isn’t in line with the ECB’s mandate and must be stopped immediately,” concluded the German MEP.
Fellow ECON committee member and vice-president of the European Parliament Dimitrios Papadimoulis, meanwhile, said Draghi must extend and expand quantitative easing when the current plan expires in March 2017:
“Mr Draghi’s ‘austerity, austerity, austerity’ dogma has failed. The Eurozone needs a return to strong, sustainable growth and we need it right now.”
“That means more investment to stimulate demand and to push ahead with banking union as well as the deposits guarantee system.”
“But the quantitative easing system needs to be extended after March 2017 to include Greece,” argued the Greek MEP.
“Our people have already experienced major changes and endured huge sacrifices in the process. It’s therefore high time for the Commission, the ECB and the Eurogroup to keep to their promises on debt relief but also on QE,” concluded Papadimoulis.