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Draghi tells Germans ECB action needed for stability

The European Central Bank has to use “exceptional measures” at times to meet its mandate of keeping inflation in check.

So said ECB President Mario Draghi in an opinion piece in German weekly Die Zeit.

He seemed to be trying to address German worries over the bank buying government bonds to stem the eurozone sovereign debt crisis.

German officials fear the ECB is in danger of being politicised and losing its independence.

Draghi wrote: “The ECB will do what is necessary to ensure price stability. It will remain independent. And it will always act within the limits of its mandate. The ECB is not a political institution.”

“Yet it should be understood that fulfilling our mandate sometimes requires us to go beyond standard monetary policy tools,” Draghi added.

He went on to explain that the ECB’s monetary policy is not transmitted evenly when financial markets “are fragmented or influenced by irrational fears”.

“We have to fix such blockages to ensure a single monetary policy and therefore price stability for all euro area citizens. This may at times require exceptional measures,” Draghi wrote in the article, released in English by the ECB under the title: “The future of the euro: stability through change”.

Juergen Stark, a former ECB chief economist, had piled on the German resistance in another newspaper interview on Tuesday, saying the ECB’s policy course meant it was being politicised and would ultimately no longer be able to deliver stable prices.

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