LONDON (Reuters) - The euro zone's technocrats should not be blamed for the bloc's woes, the European Central Bank's Vice President Vitor Constancio said on Thursday, because bailout and austerity programs were all agreed by elected governments.
"Don't put the blame on technocrats for what has happened in Europe," Constancio said at a banking dinner. "(Bailout programs are) always discussed by the finance ministers... so it is always decisions by elected governments."
Constancio added that there was no deflation in the traditional sense of the word yet in the euro zone but he acknowledged that the ECB was not meeting its sole mandate of keeping the bloc's inflation at just below 2 percent.
Reporting by John Geddie and Marc Jones