The European Central Bank (ECB) hit out at criticism of its independence during its monetary policy meeting last month in some surprisingly fiery minutes published this afternoon.
The ECB said that it was vital to "counter the perception that monetary policy could no longer contribute to a return of inflation," as the minutes revealed growing exasperation among the Eurozone's rate-setters over the response of politicians to their policies.
The minutes confirm the pointed stance taken by president Mario Draghi in his press conference following the decision to hold interest rates and the quantitative easing package at its current levels was signed-off by the rest of the ECB.
"In this context," the minutes read, "counterfactual scenarios deserved emphasis, i.e. pointing out how the Eurozone economy would have fared had the ECB not acted."
The ECB reserved extra criticism for the recent spat between the Bank and German politicians that had vociferously attacked the organisation in a bid to influence its policies.
In the days running up to the meeting, Sigmar Gabriel, vice chancellor of Germany, said that the ECB was stepping outside its mandate and becoming "a kind of faux economic government."
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Draghi hit back in front of the world's cameras, saying: "We obey the law, not politicians. Anytime the credibility of a central bank is perceived as being put into question, the result is a delay in the achievement of its objectives."
While doing everything but specifically naming the politicians, the minutes from the meeting which preceded Draghi's comments said: "In light of recent public criticism that had appeared to link the ECB's decisions to developments in the political sphere in a member state, it was viewed as important to reaffirm collectively the independence of the ECB."