Thursday 23 March 2017

ECB chief went beyond his remit, says Gilmore

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

EUROPEAN Central Bank boss, Jean-Claude Trichet, was publicly rebuked by Labour leader Eamon Gilmore for "over-stepping his role" with a call for errant eurozone members to be subjected to controversial political penalties.

Mr Gilmore -- speaking in Mallow, Co Cork -- hit out at Mr Trichet's comments as going "far beyond his remit" as the boss of the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank (ECB).

The Labour leader's comments came as many pundits interpreted the ECB boss's remarks as being directed towards countries like Ireland where there is mounting pressure on the public finances and on agreed budgetary deficit margins.

Mr Trichet had suggested that any eurozone member state that breaches strict rules on public finances should be omitted -- on a temporary basis -- from EU decision-making.

Last night the Labour Party warned that the ECB had no such role in determining political sanctions within the EU.

Mr Gilmore said that, in the current environment, such comments were far from helpful.

"If that statement was intended to be directed at this country it is misplaced. It is also way beyond his remit as President of the European Central Bank," he warned.

Mr Trichet's comments were published in the 'Financial Times' and have been interpreted as applying to Ireland and some southern EU member states.

Pundits have also taken the comments as meaning the ECB want much tougher sanctions to prevent a repeat of the situation where Greece threatened to default on its debts.

Irish Independent

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