Christine Lagarde: Euro area GDP could fall by 12%
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And France Jamet voiced concerns about the future safety of French savings once inflation becomes a factor once more. Mrs Jamet, a member of Marine Le Pen’s right-wing National Rally party, was commenting in the European Parliament on a speech by ECB President Christine Lagarde, in which she outlined plans to contribute in the battle against climate change “within its mandate”.
Specifically, Ms Lagarde unveils plans for a new climate change centre “to bring together more efficiently the different expertise and strands of work on climate across the bank”.
However, Mrs Jamet was unimpressed, telling fellow MEPs: “Since the 2008 crisis, we have been pursuing various economic remedies in an attempt to put out an unstoppable fire.
“And while strong actions are needed to avoid a collapse and destruction of the proactive economic fabric, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, we were totally unprepared.
“And in the face of the serious consequences of this crisis that are already appearing, whether we like it or not, we are even more unprepared.”
Policies followed by the ECB in recent years had only served to increase the vulnerability of member states, by removing the natural role of markets, Mrs Jamet claimed.
She continued: “These drifts thus increase the risk for all since the all-economic globalisation supplants reasoned national political choices, to the detriment of solid and lasting prosperity for all the peoples of the EU.
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“Finally, I think that wanting to transform the Central Bank into an “ecological” investment fund is a very dangerous drift, motivated by a nonsense ideology which is, unfortunately, in tune with the current times.”
Instead, she urged the ECB to stick to its task of restoring fairness to the market for all actors “in order to ensure sustainable economic development for the sole interest of the peoples who make up the member states.”
Directly addressing Luis de Guindos, the bank’s Vice President, Ms Jamet said: “On the other hand, the policy of zero or even negative interest rates and the money poured into financial markets on a global scale by the ECB, as by the FED, as we have said, are causing considerable bubbles in financial assets and increase risk more than control.
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“Hence these two reiterated questions, Mr de Guindos, When inflation returns, as it already did in the United States, what will become of household savings? And what about the accumulated debt when interest rates rise?”
In a subsequent tweet, she added: “Since the 2008 crisis, the policy of the European Central Bank has only increased the vulnerability of member states!
“What will happen to the savings of the French when inflation returns?”
In her speech, Mrs Lagarde said: “Clearly, central banks are not the main actors when it comes to preventing global heating.
“Central banks are not responsible for climate policy and the most important tools that are needed lie outside of our mandate.
“But the fact that we are not in the driving seat does not mean that we can simply ignore climate change, or that we do not play a role in combatting it.”
She added: “Climate change is one of the greatest challenges faced by mankind this century, and there is now broad agreement that we should act.
“But that agreement needs to be translated more urgently into concrete measures.
“The ECB will contribute to this effort within its mandate, acting in tandem with those responsible for climate policy.”
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