October 25, 2019 / 2:25 PM / 21 days ago

Lagarde wants to end ECB infighting, Spiegel reports

FILE PHOTO: International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde arrives for the Women's Forum Americas, at Claustro de Sor Juana University in Mexico City, Mexico, May 30, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Christine Lagarde is keen to end infighting at the European Central Bank after a public spat between rate setters created rare discord, she told German magazine Der Spiegel.

“We should now concentrate on how we can find common ground again in the future,” she was quoted as saying. “I’m always looking for the common ground and bring the different opinions together.”

The ECB approved a stimulus package last month, but a third of policymakers were against new bond purchases and some publicly disapproved of the measure, creating unprecedented disharmony at an institution that normally takes decisions by consensus.

Lagarde added that she aims to start a broader policy review as soon as she takes office and will involve members of the rate-setting Governing Council from an early stage.

She also repeated a standard message of Mario Draghi, her predecessor at the ECB, that fiscal policy needs to do more to lift growth and inflation.

Lagarde said she also wants to bring the ECB’s work closer to the general public and gives high priority to issues such as climate change and increasing the proportion of women in the financial world.

Reporting by Balazs Koranyi, editing by Larry King

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