Press release: ECB turned into European Santa Claus Bank

Under the Chairmanship of Mario Draghi and with the explicit support by the board member in charge market operation, Monsieur Benoit Coeuré, ECB has again offered the whole banking sector huge amounts of liquidity at money market conditions for a period of 3 years. This discretionary monetary generosity goes hand in hand with the softening of requirements for collaterals provided  by banks to the Eurosystem. Additionally certain national central  banks authorize themselves to hand out further credit enhancements in exchange for collaterals of less quality as in the remaining Euro-System.

Thus ECB is setting incentives for banks particularly in ailing member states of the Eurozone to origninate securities for the only sake of being funded by the Euroystems at highly privileged conditions.

What looks at first glance as a measure of stabilsation is not only  contrary to Articles 123-124 of the Treaty organising the Functionning of the European Union but incenses the whole banking sector to invest in trading sovereign debt instead of providing credit for industry and commerce.

I have asked Professor Kerber from Berlin University for legal advice on how to bring ECB back to its unique role of conducting monetary policy instead of distorting competition between banks and  abandoning the single list requirements for collaterals in exchange of credit lines from ECB.


Situation in the Mediterranean, in particular in Tunisia and Egypt

Madam President, everything I wanted to say has in fact already been said, so I will limit myself to one question to the High Representative.

Today Mr Blair, the former British Prime Minister, whom you probably know, had a lot of praise for the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Today on CNN he said, ‘Mubarak is immensely courageous and a force for good’. Mr Blair also warns against a rush to elections in Egypt.

Now Mr Blair is currently envoy in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which is supported by the European Union. What do you think about the statements of Tony Blair?

Brussels, 2 February 2011