Germany’s Constitutional Court has confirmed that it has received a complaint against the European Central Bank’s monetary policies.
It is the latest such action from a group of university professors and business leaders who believe the ECB is not authorised to buy government bonds – and in the future corporate bonds – as part of its quantitative easing programme.
Claiming this will bring “unforeseeable risks” for Germany and other eurozone countries the complainants want the court to block the bond purchases.
They are supposed to help drive up inflation to levels the ECB says are needed for healthy economic growth.
Against a background of widespread criticism by German politicians of the central bank’s monetary policy, particularly low interest rates, German ECB Governing Council member Jens Weidman expressed support for ECB President Mario Draghi’s approach though he admitted some measures have blurred the lines between monetary and fiscal policy.
He also said he thinks “purchases of government bonds in the eurozone are problematic because the central banks become the biggest creditors of their states”.
Weidman also pointed out that while low interest rates mean a poor return on people’s savings, they helped them as employees, taxpayers or homeowners.