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Draghi Seeks Help From Germany

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By appearing before a joint session of three committees of the German parliament in Berlin today, the European Central Bank president is seeking popular support in Europe's largest economy for his plan to purchase government bonds to stem the debt crisis. While Draghi says his so-called Outright Monetary Transactions are required for price stability, some German policy makers say they are an affront to the monetary orthodoxy upon which the ECB was founded.

“Draghi is on a mission to smooth concern that OMT won't send inflation skyrocketing or lumber German taxpayers with liabilities they can't pay,” said Frank Schaeffler, finance spokesman for the Free Democrats, who are in coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats. “Many lawmakers — even if they don't admit it — have grown suspicious of the ECB and its head, once dubbed the most German of non-German central bankers.”

While the announcement of Draghi's yet-to-be-deployed bond- buying program has calmed financial markets, Germany's revered Bundesbank has openly opposed the plan, fanning concerns among politicians and the public. Some 42 percent of respondents to a Stern survey published Sept. 6 said they had little or no trust in the ECB president, compared with just 18 percent who judged him favorably.

Bloomberg

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