Trichet was good for ECB's external image: bank staff

17th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet is perceived by his staff as having been a good president, even if he took the ECB beyond its mandate, the results of a survey showed Monday.

IPSO, the only recognised trade union at the ECB, asked the bank's staff to rate 68-year-old Trichet, who steps down as president at the end of this month after eight years in office.

Of the ECB's 1,200 permanent staff, just over 500 responded, and 64.3 percent of these rated Trichet as being a "good" or "excellent" president.

Some 70.8 percent believed he had enhanced the ECB's reputation and 75.0 percent lauded his clear and consistent communication to the markets.

Nevertheless, the Frenchman appeared to have been less successful on internal matters, with 54.6 percent of survey participants saying his restructuring measures had not boosted the ECB's effectiveness and efficiency.

And 59.6 percent of staff found that he had not honoured his repeated assertion that the bank's staff were its most valuable asset.

In fact, while between 60-77 percent of staff prized Trichet's competence and integrity and believed he was working for Europe, less than half said he demonstrated team spirit or transparency and accountability.

Regarding the bank's measures to solve the eurozone's snowballing debt crisis, as many as 55.1 percent of respondees found that Trichet had taken the ECB beyond its mandate which is to keep a lid on inflation in the 17-nation eurozone.

Nevertheless, more than half of those who thought this said the actions were right in the current circumstances.

Controversially, the ECB decided in May 2010 to start buying the bonds of troubled eurozone countries, a move which has since led to the resignation of two of its most experienced German policymakers -- Bundesbank President Axel Weber and the ECB's chief economist Juergen Stark.

© 2011 AFP

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