Merkel: EU treaty changes will not affect ECB role

24th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Germany and France's plan to propose changes to EU treaties will not affect the independence of the European Central Bank, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

Merkel has been under pressure to allow the ECB to become Europe's lender of last resort but, after talks with President Nicolas Sarkozy, she said its role would remain unchanged, that is to control inflation before all else.

"The French president has just underlined the European Central Bank is independent," Merkel told reporters at a joint news conference with Sarkozy and Prime Minister Mario Monti of Italy in the French city of Strasbourg.

"So the eventual modifications to the treaties will not concern the duties of the ECB, which concern monetary policy and monetary stability," she added.

Sarkozy said that in order to respect the ECB's independence, countries should make neither "positive nor negative demands" of it.

"All three of us said that with respect for the independence of this institution, one should refrain from positive or negative demands" of the ECB, Sarkozy said after the mini-summit.

© 2011 AFP

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