Even less was really not possible: The European Central Bank (ECB) is initiating the announced change in monetary policy with the smallest possible steps. Government bond purchases are coming to an end and a minimal rate hike is being announced for July.
With this decision, ECB President Christine Lagarde demonstrated how little they affect the concerns of the population in view of the rapidly rising prices for energy, food and other goods. Despite record inflation, the deposit rate will remain negative over the summer.
That’s an impertinence. After all, the latest statistics show that the wage-price spiral in the euro area has long been in motion. There are also no signs of an end to the upheavals on the energy market.
And because producer prices are constantly climbing to new heights across the board, there is nothing to suggest that there will be a turnaround on the price front any time soon. On the contrary: everything speaks for a further tightening.
The alarmingly lax attitude of the European monetary authorities is undermining confidence in the euro. With continued loose monetary policy and the extremely high national debt, a sell-off of the common currency is becoming increasingly likely on the markets. A cheap euro, in turn, creates additional inflationary pressure.
Because local citizens will then have to pay more for imported goods – and for their trips abroad as well. The declining purchasing power harbors enormous social explosives. And in the member states, governments will come under increasing pressure to come up with more and more relief packages, financed with even more debt.
The euro was introduced as a means of payment twenty years ago. Today it has to be said that the critics of the time were unfortunately right in their warning:
In a monetary union there is always the incentive and opportunity for national governments to pass on the consequences of unsound budgetary policies to the community. And an independent central bank that also actively supports this activity cannot be stopped by the suffering citizens.