Merkel's Bavarian allies say next ECB president must be German

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 18, 2016 2:32 AM

BERLIN (Reuters) - The next president of the European Central Bank should come from Germany, members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies said on Monday.

German conservative politicians have complained loudly in recent weeks that the ECB's ultra-low rates are creating a "gaping hole" in savers' finances and pensioners' retirement plans as returns have dropped.

Hans-Peter Friedrich, a leading lawmaker for the Christian Social Union (CSU) and former interior minister, told mass-selling daily Bild that the policy of the current President Mario Draghi, an Italian, had "lead to a massive loss of credibility."

"The next ECB Chief must be a German, who feels bound to the German Bundesbank's tradition of monetary stability," Friedrich added. Mario Draghi's term expires in 2019.

Hans-Peter Uhl, the CSU's spokesman on interior affairs, called for a German financial specialist to head the central bank.

A storm of protest erupted in thrifty Germany after Draghi last month described the idea of "helicopter money" - sending money directly to citizens - as a "very interesting" - if unexamined - concept.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said record low interest rates risk undermining support for European integration.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Toby Chopra)