- Title: Draghi defends legacy as ECB keeps money taps on
- Date: 24th October 2019
- Summary: FRANKFURT, GERMANY (OCTOBER 24, 2019) (REUTERS) MEDIA
- Embargoed: 7th November 2019 13:37
- Keywords: European Central Bank Mario Draghi monetary policy interest rates Christine Lagarde ECB
- Location: FRANKFURT, GERMANY
- City: FRANKFURT, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA009B2GG03X
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: European Central Bank President Mario Draghi defended his ultra-easy monetary policy stance on Thursday (October 24) as his eight-year tenure at the bank closes in exactly the same place he started: trying to prop up a perpetually ailing currency bloc.
With growth barely holding in positive territory and the outlook darkening, it was hardly the grand finale hoped for by Draghi, whose 2012 promise to do "whatever it takes" to save the euro -- code for rescuing heavily indebted countries -- is credited with saving the shared currency from collapse.
With inflation languishing at less than half the ECB's target and little hope for a speedy rebound, Draghi even kept the door open to more stimulus, days before he hands the reins to new ECB chief Christine Lagarde.
Despite weak growth across the euro zone, Draghi insisted the benefits of loose money policy far outweighed the risks and rejected the suggestion that a public split with policy hawks in the bank had tainted his legacy.
Asked what advice he had for former International Monetary Fund chief Lagarde, who attended but did not participate in Thursday's meeting, he replied: "I have no advice for Christine."
The spat with rebels on the ECB governing council has taken the shine off an otherwise remarkable reign in which Draghi led the ECB in an unprecedented experiment with unconventional monetary policy that helped avert deflation and stopped a debt crisis from spiralling out of control.
Much of Thursday's focus was on his decision to push through the open-ended bond-buying scheme that will tie his successor's hands for years to come, despite opposition from a third of policymakers.
(Production: Andreas Buerger, Tilman Blasshofer, Barbara Woolsey)
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