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The message in the ruling

Posted On: May 12, 2020   |   Posted By: Bruegel

The message in the ruling

This opinion piece was originally published in El País.
From its pretence to establish itself as a custodian of the custodians to the narrowness of its perspective on central bank policy and the parochial assessment of the distributional consequences of monetary decisions, there is much to criticize in the ruling by the German Constitutional Court on the asset purchase programme initiated by the ECB in 2015. But it can hardly be blamed for raising an important question.
Europe's central bank was born with the precisely defined mandate of preserving price stability. Over the years, however, the ECB was given new missions, as for banking supervision, or it took on new roles, as when Mario Draghi famously said that it would do “whatever it takes” to prevent a break-up of the euro. Until the 5 th of May everything suggested that the coronavirus crisis would end up having been a further reason for expanding its mission.
For European leaders unable to agree to create a budget or a meaningful solidarity fund for...

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