ECB president takes hard line on eurozone

Nov. 18, 2011 at 1:40 PM
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FRANKFURT, Germany, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, in his first speech since taking the job, said the ECB would not consider a policy of printing money.

As Europe looks for a solution to its debt crisis, Draghi said national leaders who have already met numerous times to discuss the issue, were too slow implementing their own plans, The New York Times reported Friday.

"Where is the implementation of these longstanding decisions? We should not be waiting any longer," he said at what Germany dubbed the Frankfurt European Banking Congress.

One split in Europe concerning how to turn around its debt crisis involves those who have called on the ECB to purchase government bonds to bring the cost of borrowing down for Greece, Italy and elsewhere.

Another option, called printing money or quantitative easing, involves central banks buying financial assets to inject money into the economy.

In opposition to this, Germany and others advocate governments cut spending and raise taxes to pay down their burdensome deficits.

"The economic costs of any form of monetary financing of public debts and deficits outweigh its benefits so clearly that it will not help stabilize the current situation in any sustainable way," German central bank President Jens Weidmann said at the same event in Frankfurt.

"These deficiencies include a lack of competitiveness, rigid labor markets and the failure to seize opportunities for growth," he said.

Draghi said the ECB would stick to its core mission of controlling inflation.

To deviate from that would quickly put the bank's credibility on the line.

While losing credibility can be very quick, "gaining credibility is a long and laborious process," he said.

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