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Is QE really fueling the rise of the right?

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Sean Gallup | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Monetary policy was back in the firing line this week with analysts digesting comments from Germany's Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schaeuble who has claimed that the European Central Bank (ECB) is fueling a rise in right-wing politics.

Schaeuble, a member of the ruling Christian Democratic Union, has held a hard line against the quantitative easing employed in the euro zone. He has also been critical of the country's anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which saw a dramatic rise in support in regional elections this year, and gone so far as to claim its popularity has partly been fueled by loose monetary policy.

In a speech in Frankfurt, Schaueble laid part of the blame for the party's rise on the central bank and its president, Mario Draghi.

"I said to Mario Draghi…be very proud: you can attribute 50 percent of the results of a party that seems to be new and successful in Germany to the design of this [monetary] policy," he said, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The German Finance Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by CNBC.

'Direct attack'

The German government has been reluctant to relax strict reform measures put in place since the euro zone debt crisis of 2011. German taxpayers have also been the major guarantors behind rescue loans given to distressed euro nations. Additionally, many policymakers within the country have rallied against further stimulus measures that they believe could cause debtor nations to become complacent.

Nonetheless, ING economist, Carsten Brzeski, called Schaeuble's "direct attack" of the ECB "unprecedented." He said that his comments conflicted with article 130 of the European Treaty which says member states should respect central bank independence and not seek to influence the decision-making body. He also called it "counterproductive" as it wouldn't change the ECB's monetary policy.

"(The argument is based on the belief) that low interest rates are hurting German savers (and banks and insurers) and prevent rather than stimulate structural reforms in the euro zone periphery," he said in a research note on Thursday morning.

"What this argument, however, often fails to admit is that German savers would be worse off had the ECB stayed at the sidelines, that it is the euro zone governments (including the German government) which fail to accelerate further reforms."

Steen Jakobsen, chief economist at Danish investment bank Saxo Bank, meanwhile believes that Schaueble is in his "full right" to criticize the ECB and central bank polices - whether from the Federal Reserve or the Bank of England - were always going to increase inequality with the rich getting richer and poor getting poorer.

"Clearly Schaeuble's point is merely there is a time for easy money, but there should also be a time to stop – Any economy can't be in 24/7/365 state of emergency just because it fits the narrative of central bankers and their outlook on the world," he told CNBC via email.

'Unrestricted demagoguery'

The AfD - which claimed 24.3 percent of the vote in Saxony-Anhalt elections in March amid the current migrant crisis - delivered its own response to the finance minister, claiming that it was the fear of losing power that was the main driver behind such comments.

Party member Alice Weidel said in statement Monday that ECB policy was impossible to change and iterated that citizens were losing money due to low interest rates. Schaeuble has been scathing about the right-wing party on several occasions and once said that it was guilty of "unrestricted demagoguery," according to a report by German publication Der Tagesspiegel in 2014.

Meanwhile, the ECB has found a friend in Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann who is also a governing council member at the Frankfurt-based institution. In an interview with the Financial Times last Thursday - before Schaeuble's comments - he said that the ECB was independent and agreed that an "expansionary monetary policy stance is appropriate at this juncture."

In March, the ECB announced a greater-than-expected range of stimulus measures aimed at boosting a fragile recovery in the region. It announced it had cut its main refinancing rate to 0.0 percent and its deposit rate to minus-0.4 percent.