Report criticising ECB crisis-response backed by economics MEPs
In what is the first approval by the European Parliament of a report criticising the European Central Bank's (ECB) mandate and role in the development of this current economic and financial crisis, GUE/NGL MEP Marisa Matias's assessment of the ECB's work during 2011 today received the support of the European Parliament's powerful economic and monetary affairs committee.
"The ECB assumes no responsibility today for the consequences of the implementation of its mandate, in particular those related to growth and job creation, but it requires countries to comply with recommendations on fiscal policy, labour law and wages, privatization, etc. This represents a clear breach of any reasonable interpretation of the scope of its mandate" said Matias after her report passed the committee stage by just one vote.
Matias's report seeks to put growth and job creation at the heart of monetary policy and to boost democratic scrutiny by Parliament of the ECB. The text also analyses the devastating consequences of austerity policies and "adjustment" programmes.
For the right-wing EPP and Conservative groups, who from the beginning held to a strategy of boycotting the report and repeatedly threatening to leave the negotiations, the outcome of today's vote represents a major setback. Negotiations will continue until the vote at the February plenary in Strasbourg.
"This is a positive sign of democracy - Parliament is calling for a rethink of the ECB's activities. It's as clear as day that austerity solves nothing and the ECB cannot continue to follow this recipe or solutions that perpetuate it. Moreover it is not sustainable to maintain a separation between this institution and democratic representatives. This discrepancy allows the ECB to continue to refuse any debt restructuring involving creditors" Matias said.