PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande will call for a “more suitable” euro zone monetary policy at a summit of EU leaders this week, Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron told lawmakers on Wednesday.
Hollande will call “for a macro-economic policy that is better adapted to the current context, in terms of better coordination of budgetary policies and - even if one should never talk about this - wish that, as early as January, a more suitable monetary policy supports our efforts,” Macron said.
Earlier this year, France had repeatedly called for the European Central Bank to do more to weaken the euro and fight deflation. But lately its policymakers have praised the ECB instead of criticising it, with Macron himself saying last month pressure on the bank was unnecessary and governments should instead step up reforms.
ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said on Tuesday a broad consensus had formed on the bank’s governing council in favour of more action to revive the economy and a decision could come soon on what tools to use.
But German ECB policymakers Jens Weidmann and Sabine Lautenschlaeger both opposed the ECB’s decision earlier this month to firm up language on the expansion of the bank’s balance sheet, sources have said.
With its main interest rate at a record-low 0.05 percent, the ECB has largely exhausted its policy toolkit. Broad-based buying of sovereign bonds - quantitative easing - is seen as the ECB’s last resort to boost the economy and prevent a slide into deflation.
The ECB’s next policy meeting is due on Jan. 22.
Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by James Regan