European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet is banking on the European Parliament to include many parts for the Pact for the Euro into the six-text legislative package on economic governance, he told the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Monday. He also welcomed the finance ministers’ efforts on the legislative package, but insisted that their position still had yet to address some important concerns.
In his quarterly discussion with MEPs, Mr Trichet dwelt on the need for the proposed bailout fund to be more flexible, to allow it to buy bonds in the secondary market, and stressed that this fund should, in time, become a European Union mechanism rather than an intergovernmental one. On issuing Eurobonds, Mr Trichet argued that the time was not ripe but that the door could be reopened to the idea when a stronger fiscal union emerged.
Asked to name one achievement he would like to see by the end of his mandate, Mr Trichet said that “a very important improvement in economic governance” was what he wanted most.
Besides putting questions on the future economic governance system, various MEPs quizzed Mr Trichet on the likelihood that the ECB would increase in interest rates in the coming months. Mr Trichet defended the Bank’s “hawkish” attitude to inflation, saying that price stability was one prerequisite for sustainable growth and job creation.
On Tuesday 22 March, the Economic Affairs Committee will hold its first discussion of the almost 2000 amendments tabled to the six-text economic governance legislative package. The committee aims to vote on the package towards the end of April and then to open negotiations with the Member States with a view to hammering out a deal by June.