Iratxe García: We will be on Lagarde’s heels to ensure monetary policy focuses on sustainability and improving people’s lives
Ahead of a plenary vote on the appointment of Christine Lagarde as the next European Central Bank president, the leader of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, Iratxe García, said:
“Europe needs to move towards a sustainable society, both for the environment and for the people, and the Central Bank has an important role to play. We will back Christine Lagarde because she has committed herself to throw the weight of the ECB into a just transition to a sustainable model, and has pledged to continue Mario Draghi’s stimulus policy. It is also very good news to have a woman leading the bank for the first time, as well as her commitment to ensure gender parity in the board.
“This is a starting point: we will be on her heels to make sure monetary policy is used to improve people’s lives. Thanks to Mario Draghi’s latest decisions, Lagarde now has the legroom to rethink the ECB’s targets and strategies and align them with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Her openness to boost Green Bond buying by the ECB is a good sign and we count on her as an ally in the fight for sustainable, fair and inclusive growth.
“Stimulus policy, including low interest rates and bond-buying programs, has already contributed to spur our economy and create jobs. But we now need fiscal policy to step in to boost investments and avert an economic downturn. Monetary policy cannot do it all alone. This is why my group continues to push for more flexibility and the reform of the Stability and Growth Pact.
“In today’s plenary debate, parts of the EPP Group were again driven by the discipline and austerity mantra. We expect Lagarde to stand up against that rigidity, which could put the euro and the well-being of our citizens at risk.
“We count on Lagarde to maintain and build on the established practices between the ECB and the European Parliament to safeguard democratic accountability and thus the legitimacy of the ECB. The S&D Group will ensure that Parliament plays its full role in scrutinizing the ECB’s policies and Lagarde delivers on her promises.”