The eurozone and the European Central Bank’s (ECB) monetary policy have increasingly come under fire in recent months, particularly by rising populist, Eurosceptic groups, which consider the current interest rates and other areas of monetary policy to be unsuitable and limiting the on the performance of many EU member states’ economies.
The Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party’s national spokesman Jörg Meuthen today warned that the ECB’s monetary policy was becoming more and more “politicized,” and slammed German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron for ignoring experts on the matter.
“The warning of numerous economics professors that a European ministry of economic affairs with its own budget could lead to the monetary policy of the European Central Bank becoming even more politicized. The Eurozone fails. Politicians like Macron and Merkel do not want to hear the critical voices of the experts,” Dr. Meuthen said on Tuesday via an official party press release.
He went on to insist that an EU finance ministry would lead to even more wealth distribution in the union, from Germany and other wealthy members of the bloc to country in southern Europe.
“The demands for a European finance ministry with a budget of his its owns will lead to even more massive redistribution in the eurozone and even further denunciation of German taxpayers in the use of their tax payments. It is about withdrawing even more from member states, such as Germany and Austria, to Brussels and thus to feed the ailing southerners,” the AfD national spokesperson said on May 22.
Dr. Meuthen proceeded to insist that the euro is too strong for countries in southern Europe, while it’s too weak for the economic conditions in Germany and other EU member states, seemingly criticizing the common monetary policy the eurozone offers by design.
“For southern European countries, the euro is too strong, for Germany and a number of other states, he is too weak. This wrong current monetary union cannot persist permanently, because it is based on different basic understandings of the tasks and goals of monetary policy.”
The AfD is not alone in its criticism of the eurozone, with Italy’s La Lega Party heavily criticizing the economic project throughout its election campaign and following the Italian general election on March 4.
A similar stance has been earlier voiced by Italy’s Five Star Movement (M5S) that had hit out at the EU’s fiscal policy after it attempted to prevent the party from acting on its high-spending campaign pledges, and also warned that it may seek to facilitate Italy’s withdrawal from the eurozone.
Additionally, France’s National Front (FN) Party has also expressed opposition to the eurozone, as part of its wider eurosceptism.
Debt-riddled Greece has reportedly mulled over plans to ditch the euro in a bid to end its economic woes. Such a move would see the return of the drachma, which is considerably weaker than the euro, so it’s likely to bolster Greek exports in international trade, in addition to tourism.
Athens’ exit from the eurozone would also hand back its monetary sovereignty, allowing its own central bank to set interests and other utilize other instruments specifically to the needs and demands of the Greek economy.