Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany defended both sides of the bond-buying issue, saying that politicians should stay out of European Central Bank (ECB) limits, or lack thereof, in bond purchases but championing the right of the Bundesbank head to challenge them.
Reuters reported Monday that Merkel (left) spoke out in defense of Jens Weidmann, head of the Bundesbank, who has been outspoken in his criticism of the notion that the ECB should buy an unlimited amount of the bonds of troubled countries. He has criticized the plan as being a way for the ECB to finance state budgets.
Merkel’s own finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, had said over the weekend that the very public airing of Weidmann’s views amid the discussion over the pros and cons of the plan was troubling to Germans.
Merkel, however, said in the report that Weidmann had the right to voice his opinion on the crisis. She was quoted saying, “The European Central Bank’s independence is for us important and I will not comment on [Weidmann's] remarks on ECB policy.”