Germany's Laschet says trusts ECB to keep inflation in check



FRANKFURT, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Armin Laschet, the conservative candidate bidding to succeed German Chancellor Angela Merkel in this month's election, said he was confident the European Central Bank (ECB) would achieve price stability, as accelerating inflation hits savers.

"For me, it's alarming when small savings, pensions, life insurances and building loan contracts lose value," Laschet was quoted as telling the weekly Welt am Sonntag (WamS) newspaper.

"I'm sure the ECB will particularly fulfil its core task of monetary stability ... But this also means that when interest rates rise again the debt burden becomes an even bigger problem for the state," he said in Saturday's edition.

Laschet's remarks a week ahead of the Sept. 26 general election stand in contrast to comments made by his key expert for fiscal and economic policies Friedrich Merz, who this week lashed out at the ECB's loose monetary policy.

The ECB said this month it would trim emergency bond purchases over the coming quarter, marking a first small step towards unwinding the emergency aid that has propped up the euro zone economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

This year, the ECB expects inflation of 2.2%, above its 2% target, before falling to 1.7% in 2022 and 1.5% in 2023.

The latest German election poll, provided by Ipsos, puts the conservative CDU/CSU bloc at 21% and the Social Democrats (SPD) at 27%, piling pressure on Laschet to close the gap.

In an attack on his main opponent, Social Democrat chancellor candidate and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, Laschet intensified his criticism over a money-laundering probe that has involved raids on Scholz's ministry.

Earlier this month, German prosecutors raided the Financial Intelligence Unit, an finance ministry agency, spotlighting Germany's failings in tackling financial crime.

Shortly after the raids, Scholz - who also serves as vice chancellor - expressed frustration over how the probe had been handled by prosecutors.

"It's breaking a political taboo when the vice chancellor questions the independence of the public prosecutor following a raid on his ministry," Laschet told WamS.
Reporting by Christoph Steitz Editing by Helen Popper

Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.

All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.

Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Read more or change your cookie settings.

Risk Warning: Your capital is at risk. Leveraged products may not be suitable for everyone. Please consider our Risk Disclosure.