For the first time a governor of a central bank of a Member State has criticized the policy of the European Central Bank. It was no other than Axel Weber, the president of the German Bundesbank. He said that he was critical of the new direction of the ECB monetary policy given the underlying risks. Weber criticized in particular the purchase of government bonds by the ECB, and advocated for quick exit from this purchase. Italian central bank governor Mario Draghi also called for an end of such purchases as quickly as possible, but without openly criticizing ECB policy.
The thing is, both Mr. Weber and Mr. Draghi are candidates for the post of President of the ECB. So the criticism of Mr. Weber can be explained by his differing vision for the future policy of the ECB. However, monetary policy of the eurozone is not decided unilaterally by the President of the ECB, and Mr. Weber is actually criticizing all his fellow governors that have collectively taken the decision to purchase those bonds. Even if we set aside the concerns expressed by Jean Quatremer about the breach of confidentiality, it is apparent that Mr. Weber is frustrated with his colleagues and attempts to shift the debate to the public arena. This is dangerous. The ECB must at all cost remain independent in its deliberations in order to guarantee that professional, and not political considerations, guide its decision-making.