Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, reacted in strong terms to the European Central Bank’s correspondence with the Dáil, in which it threatens Ireland with ‘very serious consequences’ for failure to consult with the ECB prior to proceeding to committee stage with Private Members’ Bills.
Criticising the ECB’s choice of words today, Ms. Childers said:
“In normal circumstances, such an obnoxious tone should be much ado about nothing. EU rules in accordance with the treaties foresee that national legislation in areas of interest to the ECB’s competence should be submitted to it for a non-binding opinion. And national legislation must naturally be compatible with EU law.
“The European Central Bank can be pretty tone-deaf at the best of times, and way out of bounds at worst when it meddles politically in areas it has no business interfering in. Refusing to come and appear before our Dáil at its inquiry, yet choosing to hector it.
“This undermines the notion of monetary policy independence it so zealously guards.
“Then again, its economic policy views and actions since the financial crisis have been so biased that they triggered a debate about the appropriateness and scope of its mandate, and it must be vigorously pursued.
“From prioritising the use taxpayers’ money to salvage sunk financiers, to its role as a Troika member, through its very selective turning of the screws of liquidity assistance to pressure governments, the ECB’s forays into conservative politics under the guise of sound economic practice have been anything but brazen.
“In fairness to Mr. Draghi, he has been fighting on the monetary front against the fiscal tide of austerity, but this is no way to make allies he could cultivate in national parliaments.
“It seems to me that, often, the ECB wants to keep the cake, eat it, and also pie you in the face with it.”