Roesler Seeks More Bundesbank Power at ECB After Treaty Change

German Vice Chancellor Philipp Roesler said the Bundesbank should exert more influence at the European Central Bank after a change of European Union treaties that may take a “long” time to accomplish.

Germany is battling attempts by some of its 16 fellow euro-area governments to curb the independence that the ECB enjoys from political influence, Roesler, who’s also economy minister in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet, said yesterday in a Bloomberg Television interview in Berlin. He didn’t name the governments.

“We have to change the treaties, which is a long way, but now we are responsible for 27.1 percent of the ECB and we are only one vote out of 17, so that’s not the right balance between freedom of decision on one hand and responsibility on the other hand,” Roesler said.

Less than two months before Sept. 22 federal elections, Roesler’s comments show that he is aligning his Free Democratic Party with Germany’s once-powerful central bank. Merkel’s junior coalition partner rejects criticism of the Bundesbank for delaying a banking union in Europe and censuring ECB bond purchases advocated by the bank’s president, Mario Draghi.

The Bundesbank said this week in its monthly report that EU treaties must be changed to provide a legal basis for the Europe-wide supervision of banks scheduled to start in the fall of next year. Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said June 12 that it’s questionable whether the ECB’s Outright Monetary Transactions program is “consistent with our mandate.”

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