Europe Economy

ECB Should Get More Powers: Spain's Rajoy


Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Monday that Europe should look at changing the powers that the European Central Bank has, to align it more with other monetary authorities.

"I believe that in Europe among all of us we should look at whether the ECB should have the same powers as the rest of the world's central banks," Rajoy said in a news conference.

"We should give ourselves the instruments that other countries have," he said, answering a question about monetary policy recently introduced by the Bank of Japan.

Since he took office in late 2011, Rajoy has been a major proponent of a banking union that would put the banks of the 17-member euro zone under closer supervision by the ECB and that would aim to sever the link between sovereign borrowers and banks.

He has also repeatedly called for Europe to take more measures to stimulate growth. But on Monday he declined to detail what measures he has in mind.

The ECB's central mandate is to maintain price stability in the euro zone. During the euro zone debt crisis there have been calls to widen its powers. A barrage of monetary stimulus unleashed last Thursday by the Bank of Japan has revived such talk.

The European Central Bank has pledged to support debt prices for euro zone countries that sign up to an international aid program. But unlike the BoJ and other major central banks, its arsenal of stimulus measures does not currently include a quantitative easing program of sovereign bond purchases.