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Merkel insists ECB's independence in curbing crisis

10-26-2011 08:45 BJT

BERLIN, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) governments should not decide for the European Central Bank (ECB) on its role in tackling eurozone debt crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday.

"We want a much clearer expression on what the ECB wants from its own point of view and then (we) will comment on that. We do not want a misunderstanding that politicians expect something from the ECB," Merkel told reporters.

Her comments came after some media quoted a draft statement of EU leaders for Sunday's summit as saying that the EU government "fully support" the ECB to continue to take "non-standard measures" to ensure price stability in the euro area.

Reporters and markets believed that "non-standard measures" referred to the ECB buying the bonds of heavily indebted eurozone countries in the secondary market, which apparently shift the bank's core task of maintaining a sustainable inflation in the region and might damage its credibility in the long run.

However, if the communique contains statement on purchases on the secondary market, it will "not be accepted by Germany," Merkel said.

Merkel's government has long defended ECB's independence, insisting that the central bank should not be used to fight the crisis.

However, facing deepening debt turmoil and spreading market panic, the ECB has so far bought nearly 170 billion euros (234.6 billion U.S. dollars) of state bonds since last year, a move that split the bank's governing board and triggered heated debate in Germany.

After the summit on Sunday, it is widely expected that the enhanced eurozone bailout fund, or the European Financial Stability Facility, would take over the mission from the ECB on buying sovereign bonds in the secondary market.

The final roadmap on countering the year-long crisis is due to be published on the second EU summit on Wednesday.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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