His first words were: “It is a great honour” and “an exceptional privilege to speak to the Bundestag, the heart of German democracy.” On October 24 Mario Draghi arrived in Berlin on what Die Welt calls a “charm offensive”. In an unusual step, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB) had come to the German parliament to defend his handling of the eurozone crisis, which has been heavily criticised in Germany, where it is feared that the ECB’s policy of debt redemption amounts to printing money and will see inflation return. Draghi, the Berlin daily writes, argues that —
The purchases of bonds that are being considered also protect German taxpayers [...] They will not lead to inflation and they will therefore not be inconsistent with the ECB’s mandate to ensure monetary stability.
This soothing reassurance risks being insufficient, however, says the Wirtschaftswoche. On its website, the weekly dubs Draghi a “Trojan horse in the Bundestag” —
Those who watched and analysed the ECB President and his speech critically had to gasp. What Mario Draghi told the Bundestag is, all the same, brazen. One can only hope that the parliamentarians have realised that it was just a fairy tale.