Bloomberg News

Coeure Says ECB Must Not Take Orders From Governments

December 12, 2011

(Corrects reason for board vacancy in fourth paragraph.)

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Benoit Coeure, candidate for the European Central Bank’s Executive Board, said the institution is independent and should not take instructions from governments.

“Governments have undertaken to respect this principle and not to seek to influence them,” Coeure said, according to written answers for a European Parliament hearing on his candidacy.

Couere said he sees no reason to change the ECB’s “clear mandate” to maintain price stability, which is the best contribution a central bank can make to safeguard economic growth. Coeure, a French treasury official, is appearing at a hearing of the 27-nation Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee this evening in Strasbourg, France.

The vacancy on the ECB’s 6-man executive board arises due to the resignation of Italy’s Lorenzo Bini Smaghi. That adds to the personnel revamp on the panel after Juergen Stark, the Frankfurt-based central bank’s chief economist, quit following tensions over the purchase of government bonds aimed at stemming Europe’s debt crisis. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called on the ECB to increase its crisis-fighting role, a move opposed by the ECB itself and the German government.

--Editor: Craig Stirling

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Black in Frankfurt at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at

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