Europe News

Bundesbank's Dombret weighs in on ECB autonomy debate

I defend the ECB’s independence: Bundesbank’s Dombret
I defend the ECB’s independence: Bundesbank’s Dombret

Bundesbank board member Andreas Dombret has weighed in on the debate over the independence of the European Central bank (ECB), defending its autonomy and saying it faced growing pressure from politicians.

His comments Wednesday come amid increasingly strained relations between the euro zone's central bank and Germany's leaders over the ECB's increasingly dovish path.

"In some ways it is," Dombret told CNBC when asked whether the ECB was becoming too politicized. While he agreed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that a debate surrounding monetary policy should be possible..."any influence on the decision-making in the governing council should be limited and should actually not be taking place."

As well as cutting its main interest rates, the ECB has expanded its massive bond-buying program to 80 billion euros ($90.3 billion) a month and added corporate bonds into the mix. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said that there was "no question" that zero rates for a long period of time were "not reasonable" and warned that the ECB's ultra-low rates were creating a "gaping hole" in savers' finances and pensioners' plans.

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), left, and Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany's finance minister.
The Germans are revolting over ECB policy

Germany has a traditional antipathy towards low interest rates because its citizens have tended towards cautious saving rather than spending. Germany's economy is still largely export-driven rather than reliant on domestic consumption.

"It's the free decision of Germans how to save or how to invest at the end of the day," Dombret said.

The country has also been criticized for its high current account surplus, and Dombret conceded the German surplus was "rather high".

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.