French presidential candidate Francois Hollande delivered his call for a more activist European Central Bank to Germany, sharpening his disagreement with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Hollande told the daily Handelsblatt newspaper that his strategy to fight the region’s financial crisis includes pushing euro-area bonds, dropping plans to anchor a deficit-reduction rules in nations’ constitutions and seeking new powers for the ECB. Germany opposes each of the proposals.
Hollande, the Socialist candidate against Nicolas Sarkozy, also said he would seek talks with Merkel on how to expand the powers of the ECB to combat speculation against sovereign bonds, Handelsblatt said. Hollande wasn’t more specific.
“It’s necessary to cut the deficit but everyone knows that without economic growth the debt quota will rise faster,” he said.
Both Hollande and Sarkozy have made the Frankfurt-based central bank a target in their campaign. Sarkozy has called for expanding the ECB’s mandate to include spurring growth and not just controlling inflation.