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FT: Democracy Loses in Struggle to Save Euro

Author: Gideon Rachman
September 10, 2012


Gideon Rachman comments that while European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's recent promise of "unlimited" purchases of sovereign bonds will help save the beleaguered euro, it will also bring increased political and economic unhappiness in Europe.

The European Central Bank has fired its magic bullet. By promising "unlimited" purchases of sovereign bonds, Mario Draghi, the ECB's president, may have kept his pledge to do "whatever it takes" to save the euro. But in rescuing the currency, Mr Draghi's magic bullet has badly wounded something even more important – democracy in Europe.

As a result of the ECB's actions, voters from Germany to Spain will increasingly find that crucial decisions about national economic policy can no longer be changed at the ballot box. In Germany, in particular, there is a growing realisation that the ECB, an unelected body that prides itself on its independence from government, has just taken a decision that has profound implications for German taxpayers – but one that they cannot challenge or change.

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