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2018 is the year we should look beyond QE – Hayes

Brian Hayes MEP today said that 2018 is the year where the ECB’s Quantitative Easing programme should end, given the upturn in the Eurozone economy. Mr. Hayes also stated that Ireland should not be afraid to go after the ECB Presidency as Mario Draghi’s term comes to an end in October next year.

“The ECB’s Quantitative Easing (QE) programme which was launched in March 2015 was, for all means and purposes, an emergency measure to increase inflation and revive the Eurozone economy.

“We are now well beyond fire-fighting mode in the Eurozone and it is safe to say that the Eurozone can sustain itself without massive expansionary measures like QE. We have gone from an inflation rate of below 0% when QE was launched to just under 1.5% today.

“The Eurozone economy was the success story of 2017 and has already started 2018 on a positive note. Eurozone growth for 2017 was above 2% and the single currency gained over 13% on the US dollar.

“Ireland is more than ready for the end of QE. Irish growth has outstripped Eurozone growth for the last six years. It is in Ireland’s interest to see consistent and broad-based economic growth in the Eurozone and this will only happen if the QE tap is turned off and we move away from emergency measures.

“Ireland should be at the forefront of ECB policymaking in the years to come. Given that Ireland is the only one of the Eurozone’s 12 founding members never to have taken up a seat on the six-member ECB executive board, it is time for us to target one of the many positions that will be on offer in the coming two years.

“There is no reason why an Irish representative should not succeed Mario Draghi when he departs his position in October 2019. Philip Lane, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, is arguably the most qualified economist at the ECB governing council table. He would be an excellent candidate to succeed Mario Draghi.

“Ireland lost out narrowly to Paris in the battle to bring the EBA to Dublin last November. We should not be afraid to fight for key positions in the ECB and other institutions; we are now a net contributor to the EU budget, one of the oldest Member States and a founding member of the Eurozone. Our long-standing commitment to the European project should be rewarded.”

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