European Central Bank annual report for 2012: - MEPs debate

Type: NEWS   Référence: 95256   Durée: 00:05:09   Première transmission: 12/12/2013  Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
Fin de production: 12/12/2013
The European Central Bank (ECB) has played a key role in fighting the crisis in Europe in recent years, making it important to scrutinise what it is doing. It has been part of the troika of international lenders that manage the bailouts for crisis-stricken EU countries and is preparing to take on the supervision over Europe’s largest banks. On 12 December the European Parliament debated on a report reviewing the ECB’s work in 2012. MEPs welcomed the ECB action, but insisted there is no contradiction between preserving the ECB's independence and the need to hold it to account. The credibility of the ECB’s monetary policy remained high despite contracting economic activity and volatility brought about by the sovereign debt crisis. While financial market tensions were high at the beginning of the year, stress in interbank money markets subsequently declined mainly due to refinancing operations introduced in late 2011 and early 2012. However, escalation of the sovereign debt crisis showed that euro area countries need to improve the coordination of their economic, fiscal and financial policies.

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00:00:00 SOUNDBITE (French) Eva JOLY (Greens/EFA, FR) : English translation : ""We're preaching monetarism and we should continue to worry about inflation apparently, even though, currently, inflation is well below 2%. So in fact it's the spectre of deflation which a number of economists are talking about which we should be worrying about." 00:00:05
00:00:05 EXTERIOR SHOT of the EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, Strasbourg. 00:00:05
00:00:10 SOUNDBITE (Portuguese) Elisa FERREIRA (S&D, PT) : English translation : "The BCE was one of the players in the Troika and I think that is one of its less meritorious accesses during the crisis. What are the current reflections of the BCE on its participation to the troika and the consequences of the receipts that were imposed to the countries. Secondly I think we need more long term thinking. Will the European union be able to continue to work if the central banks powers follow a script written do deal with situations of inflation, when there is a risk of deflation and of deep recession ?" 00:00:43
00:00:53 SOUNDBITE (French) Eva JOLY (Greens/EFA, FR) : English translation : "Each year the ECON Committee tools up an initiative report on the activities of the ECB. This report is the cornerstone of the work that our assembly does to follow up the most important lines of the activities of one of the most important European institutions for lack of democratic control. The annual report on the ECB 2012 should have allowed this House to take a strong position on the recent developments related to the monetary policy. Despite some good points related to the role of the ECB in the construction of the banking union, we're not there yet." 00:00:59
00:01:52 SOUNDBITE (Portuguese) Marisa MATIAS (Gue/NGL, PT) : English translation : "The very same ECB which lowered the interests rates to fight against the crisis is the same one which, in the countries under intervention by the Troika, ordered the lowering of the wages of the workers. The main problem goes to the lack of internal demand, and this is what we're not talking about although it's the cause of the recession and won't solve it. The Troika and its action are never being evaluated, although they are not democratically elected. And that's the main problem we're facing." 00:00:29
00:02:21 SOUNDBITE (Italian) Leonardo Domenici (S&D, IT) : English translation : "How can the ECB ensure that its own refinancing operations really do get through to the real economy, particularly SME's and are really devoted to financing commercial investments and activities and not mainly speculative operations such as portfolio investments ? We would need a kind of quality control over the injection of cash flow." 00:00:26
00:02:47 "SOUNDBITE (French) Philippe LAMBERTS (Greens/EFA, BE) : English translation : "Mister Draghi, for many you are an hero, the hero of the Euro. During the crisis you have shown a sense of responsibility and a willingness that stands in you in good stead and we recognise and appreciate your effort. But I would like to express however my growing concern regards your work at the ECB. I am concerned when I read your report on an almost inevitable end to the European social model ; in the Econ committee I heard you saying that the taxes were to high in Europe, You allowed yourself to criticize elected heads of government in writings pushing them specifically towards more flexible labour markets that leaves workers in uncertain conditions. The ECB and its resources have been used to put pressure on financial institutions and countries such as Ireland. Now Mister Draghi, I am very much attached to the independence of the ECB when it comes to monetary policy, but I'm particularly attached to the sovereign rights of the Member States and their representatives." 00:01:13
00:04:00 SOUNDBITE (English) Ramon TREMOSA I BALCELLS (ALDE, ES) : "According to the latest data of the Troika's report, this year banking credit to non-financial corporations in Spain is falling again at 11% rate. At the same time the Spanish banks are increasing lending for the Spanish Government at 10% rate. After having throwing billions of Euros in a state aid to the banks, in some member States this money is going to finance government deficits instead of credit to the real economy." 00:00:32
00:04:32 SOUNDBITE (English) Gay MITCHELL (EPP, IE) : "I join those who raised concerns about SME's. 90% of all businesses are directly associated with SME's and 2/3 of all employment in the Eurozone, and the survey access to finance published about the ECB and the Commission finds that 13% of the SMEs loan application were rejected in 2013. 16% received less than they originally applied for and 7% of the SME's were to discouraged to even apply for a loan. So what can you do about that ?" 00:00:33
00:05:05 CUTAWAYS : 2 shots, showing MEP Elisa FERREIRA (S&D, PT) then MEP Ramon TREMOSA I BALCELLS (ALDE, ES). 00:00:04
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