French Socialist candidate Francois Hollande, the frontrunner in presidential elections, said the European Central Bank should lend directly to member states to help them cover their risk and secure their sovereign debt.
Speaking at a meeting in Lille, five days before the first round of the elections, Hollande called on the ECB to expand its actions beyond lending to banks.
On March 19, Hollande said he wanted the ECB’s mandate to include spurring economic growth as well as maintaining price stability, a measure his rival, incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy, also proposed in an April 15 speech.
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