Sunday, September 16, 2012 - 10:33

Germany's Schaeuble Criticizes Bundesbank President Weidmann

FRANKFURT (MNI) - Germany's Finance Minister Wolfang Schaeuble criticized Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann over the weekend for his public opposition to the European Central Bank's new bond buy program, OMT.

"I am not sure that it contributes to confidence in the central bank when this debate is being carried out semi-publicly," Schaeuble told German weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

Weidmann was the only member of the 23-strong ECB Governing to oppose the central bank's new program, warning that bond market interventions go beyond the central bank's mandate and threaten to undermine its independence.

"The population is deeply insecure, and the central bank is one of the institutions that citizens generally trust," Schaueble told the paper.

Schaeuble's public criticism of the Bundesbank President is highly unusual. In Germany, the Bundesbank's independence has traditionally been held in high esteem, which has made government officials reluctant to challenge the Bundesbank's positions in public.

--Frankfurt bureau tel.: +49-69-720142.

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