Weber fires parting shot

OUSTED ECB president candidate and Bundesbank chief Axel Weber said yesterday that the Eurozone is only a quarter of the way through its debt crisis and fired a parting shot at the ECB, saying its bond purchasing programme is a “short-term” and a “counterproductive” solution.

Telling an audience in Dusseldorf that indebted Eurozone states must focus on fiscal discipline, Weber said: “Compared to a marathon, the problematic countries have managed maybe the first 10 or 15km. The most painful part is still to come.”

He recommended that they introduce constitutional caps on government debt, as Germany did in 2009.

Weber also reiterated his disapproval of the ECB’s policy of intervening in sovereign debt markets, a stance he says forced him out of the race for the ECB presidency.

He said that although markets were at times “prone to exaggeration”, it was wrong to blame them for the sovereign crises rippling through Europe.