Saturday 29 April 2017

ECB crossed the line into improper political activity during Eurozone crisis - report

Jean Claude Trichet. Photo: Frank McGrath
Jean Claude Trichet. Photo: Frank McGrath
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

The European Central Bank (ECB) crossed the line into improper political activity during the Eurozone crisis, according to a report by anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International.

Actions, including former ECB President Jean Claude Trichet’s controversial secret letters to the late Brian Lenihan ahead of the Irish bailout in 2010 and letters to the governments of Spain and Italy insisting that support for banks was linked to policy actions, were cited in the report. 

Transparency International found that the ECB’s institutional independence gave the bank “an extraordinary degree of latitude.” It said the organisation should be more answerable, and  recommended that the ECB no longer form part of the Troika overseeing bank bailouts.

In a statement the ECB, which cooperated with the original research, said steps had been taken since the crisis to “further enhance its transparency, accountability and integrity mechanisms.”

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