French ECB suggestions 'waste of time'

14th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Feb 14, 2007 (AFP) - Suggestions made by the two main French presidential candidates that the European Central Bank should take instructions from national politicians are a "waste of time", Dutch Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm said in an interview published in the Financial Times on Wednesday.

LONDON, Feb 14, 2007 (AFP) - Suggestions made by the two main French presidential candidates that the European Central Bank should take instructions from national politicians are a "waste of time", Dutch Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm said in an interview published in the Financial Times on Wednesday.

"It (is) a typical French debate," Zalm told the business daily.

"After the presidential elections it is over. There is no enthusiasm for this in any other country."

Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal said last month that the ECB should broaden its focus to boosting growth and jobs and not only fighting inflation, adding that European politicians should have a greater say in the bank's decisions regarding the euro.

Royal's main right-wing opponent, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, has also called for a re-assessment of ECB policies.

Zalm also does not support French-led demands that the monthly meeting of eurozone finance ministers should play more of an active role in deciding exchange rate policy.

"If you discuss a problem without solving it, the effect will only be more uncertainty and more unrest ... We spend too much time talking about the economic situation -- it is like talking about the weather."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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