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Procédure : 2022/2037(INI)
Cycle de vie en séance
Cycle relatif au document : A9-0022/2023

Textes déposés :

A9-0022/2023

Débats :

PV 15/02/2023 - 15
CRE 15/02/2023 - 15

Votes :

PV 16/02/2023 - 7.9
Explications de votes

Textes adoptés :

P9_TA(2023)0057

Compte rendu in extenso des débats
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Mercredi 15 février 2023 - Strasbourg Edition révisée

15. Banque centrale européenne - rapport annuel 2022 (débat)
Vidéo des interventions
PV
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  Die Präsidentin. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über den Bericht von Rasmus Andresen im Namen des Ausschusses für Wirtschaft und Währung über die Europäische Zentralbank – Jahresbericht 2022 (2022/2037(INI)) (A9-0022/2023).

 
  
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  Rasmus Andresen, rapporteur. – Madam President, dear colleagues, President Lagarde, it is good to see you here in the European Parliament. The Russian aggression against Ukraine, disrupted supply chains and the ongoing climate crisis are threats to our economy and to price stability. With an unstable economic outlook, we cannot be sure that price stability and an economically stable environment for all citizens will be reached. Energy and food prices are still far too high, and our dependence on fossil fuels remains far too strong.

While profits of the biggest corporations are skyrocketing, a majority of citizens are suffering from real wage losses. The real wage growth declined in the first half of 2022 to —2.3%. In Germany, my country, the wage loss went to —3.9%. At the same time, we could observe a higher contribution of profits to inflation, for example, from energy companies like ExxonMobil, Shell and others. We need to have a science—based analysis.

We therefore call on the ECB in the report to begin to report also on profits contribution to inflation, the same as you are already doing with wages. We are calling on the ECB to take a step—by—step approach. The high inflation is a big concern for the European Parliament and we agree on that the ECB has the tools to bring demand driven inflation down. By accepting the primary mandate, we also need to be very clear: this current price explosion is different. The ECB has limited tools to address it.

We are facing exceptional supply shocks in the energy markets. The ECB cannot bring this inflation down at short—term level, but also needs to focus on the medium—term perspective. Our high levels of dependence on Russian imports and skyrocketing prices for fossil fuels are an important reminder how a climate-harming policy is also directly affecting price stability. Green monetary policy is not a nice—to—have but necessary to secure price stability and a prosperous economic outlook. This is why we dedicated an entire section in the report to the ECB’s policies to actions against climate change.

We are welcoming the ECB climate roadmap and stress test you put forward last year. We discussed it in the Committee more than once, but we also think that we need to do more and we need to include climate— and environment—related risks through climate stress tests and also other tools. We are inviting you, President, also in the next months to discuss this further with the European Parliament.

Climate change is affecting price stability, and ignoring this fact will lead to big problems in the future. From a green perspective, important steps, first steps have been taken also in the report we could agree on in the Committee, but we still need to develop tools so that needed green investments will not be harmed by a tightening of monetary policy. I guess this will also be one of our major priorities for the next debates in our Committee when it comes to central banking and to monetary policy.

For the first time, the report also includes a chapter with recommendation for secondary objectives. For too long a time, the secondary objectives have been politically ignored, and let me state this in no uncertain terms: the ECB secondary mandate is legally binding and laid down in the treaties. So we are calling the ECB to explain in a designated chapter of its report how its monetary policy is affecting the general economic policies of the Union, including impacts on sustainable growth and employment or inequality.

Dear colleagues, the ECB is accountable to the European Parliament, and I really think we have a strong mandate and important work by calling the ECB to be more transparent and to explain much more on the monetary decision-making. So this report is a chance to go in the next steps in the dialogue together with President Lagarde and the ECB. I’m really looking forward to do this after hopefully a strong vote tomorrow and the debate here tonight. So once again, thanks for the President for attending the meeting, and I’m really looking forward to all of your contributions.

 
  
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  Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank. – Madam President, Commissioner McGuinness, honourable Members of the European Parliament, I’m very pleased at this point in time during the day to be in front of you and to share this moment and to participate in today’s important debate, as has just been indicated by the rapporteur.

The ECB was granted a democratic mandate to ensure price stability in the euro area. In other words, we safeguard one of the fundamental conditions for stable economic growth. To achieve this mandate, the ECB was also granted a high level of independence, and as you acknowledge in the draft resolution we are discussing today, the ECB’s ability to take all necessary measures free from any political interference is essential to deliver on its mandate.

This is particularly the case at the moment, given the present circumstances. High inflation continues to have a large impact on all areas of our economy and on people’s everyday lives, especially low—income households, as you also noted. This is why the Governing Council started normalisation of its monetary policy back in December 2021 and has raised ECB interest rates by 300 basis points since July 2022. It has recently – at its February meeting a few days ago – emphasised its determination to stay the course in raising interest rates significantly at a steady pace and in keeping them at levels that are sufficiently restrictive to ensure a timely return of inflation to our 2% medium—term target.

But independence comes also with a great deal of responsibility. The choices that we make as central bankers have a significant influence on society. So being accountable for our decisions is the necessary counterweight to our independence. This means that we need to explain our policies and the analysis that underpins them to ensure that people understand how and why our decisions are taken. But it also means that we must be attentive to the concerns of the public and carefully evaluate whether and how we can respond to these concerns within our mandate. After all, reinforcing trust in our institution also supports our monetary policy – for example by anchoring inflation expectations.

Today’s debate on your draft resolution is crucial in both these aspects. So I’m here today to explain our policy, but also to listen to your views as elected representatives of the European citizens and to further reflect on how the ECB can act for the benefit of all Europeans within its mandate.

Let me start by briefly outlining our assessment of the euro area economy as was discussed by the Governing Council earlier this month. Euro area growth slowed, but didn’t stall, in the fourth quarter of 2020. The outcome was better than was initially expected as the adverse economic effects from Russia’s unjustified war were partly buffered by improving supply conditions and fiscal support related to the energy crisis. While confidence is rising and energy prices have fallen, we expect activity to remain weak in the near term.

According to Eurostat’s flash estimate – and this number, by the way, is calculated using an estimate for German inflation at this point in time – inflation was 8.5% in January. It is likely to be revised slightly upwards when taking into account the German inflation numbers, which have now been published. The decrease compared with December was mainly due to a sharp drop in energy prices. At the same time, the prior surge of energy prices and other input costs is still feeding through to consumer prices.

Overall, price pressures remain strong and underlying inflation is still high. If, for instance, you exclude energy and food, inflation remains at 5.2% in January, the same as in December. Looking at the labour market, wages are growing faster, supported by robust employment dynamics, with the main theme in wage negotiations becoming how wages can to some extent catch up with high inflation. Even though most measures of longer—term inflation expectations currently stand at around 2%, these measures warrant constant and continued monitoring.

The risks to the growth outlook are now balanced or, rather, more balanced than they were in December. Russia’s war against Ukraine and its people continues to be a significant downside risk. But a faster resolution of the energy shock would support growth. The risks to the inflation outlook have also become more balanced, especially in the near term.

So against this economic backdrop that I have summarised very briefly for you, what is our monetary policy? Well, at our latest meeting on 2 February, a few days ago, we decided to raise the key ECB interest rates by 50 basis points, and we expect to raise them further. So in view of the underlying inflation pressures, we intend to raise interest rates by another 50 basis points at our next meeting, in March. We will then evaluate the subsequent path of our monetary policy.

Keeping interest rates at restrictive levels will, over time, reduce inflation by dampening demand and will also guard against the risk of a persistent upward shift in inflation expectations. Our future policy rate decisions will continue to be data dependent and will follow a meeting by meeting approach.

At our February meeting, we also decided on the modalities for reducing the size of the Eurosystem balance sheet and the asset purchase program that I will call the APP for simplification purposes. As we communicated in December, the APP portfolio will decline at a measured and predictable pace, with the decline amounting to EUR 15 billion per month on average from the beginning of March 2023 until the end of June 2023. It will then subsequently be determined over time.

In the interest of simplicity and neutrality, the parameters for reducing the APP portfolio will be closely in line with what we have done previously. This will preserve consistency with our monetary policy stance, which is being set primarily by our interest rates.

For the Eurosystem’s corporate bond purchases, reinvestments will be tilted more strongly towards issues with a better climate performance, supporting the gradual decarbonisation of our corporate bond holdings, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, without prejudice to our price stability objective.

Let me now turn to other important matters you have raised in your draft resolution – namely the expansion of the euro area and the work we must do to complete our economic and monetary union. On 1 January, we welcomed Croatia to the euro area, expanding our club from 19 to 20 countries. Croatia’s accession is an impressive achievement not only for Croatia itself, but also for the euro. It shows that the euro is an attractive currency and once again reminds us that in Europe we are just stronger together.

Adopting the euro will bring tangible benefits to Croatia’s 4 million citizens, Building on the broader positive impact the euro has had over the last two decades. As an anchor of stability, the euro has advanced European integration and strengthened the single market’s role in driving growth. This in turn has elevated the EU’s standing as the world’s largest trading bloc and enhanced our autonomy on the global stage.

The euro has also become a symbol, and a binding symbol, and an integral part of our shared European identity, as its popularity shows. Support for the euro and for economic and monetary union has now reached an all time high at 80%. But with rising geopolitical tensions in the global economy, a stable euro will become even more important in ensuring that Europe continues to thrive. For that to happen, we need to collectively double down on the work that remains to complete our economic and monetary union. On that, each and every European policymaker needs to contribute.

Let me mention briefly, by way of conclusion, the three areas where progress can be made in the next 12 months before the EU elections in 2024 – which I know is already keeping many of you busy, but there is work to be done before that. Let me mention those three areas.

Number one, euro area financial integration. Number two, EU economic governance. Number three, the digital euro. Big projects.

If we look first at strengthening the euro area financial integration, the ECB is playing its part, notably by ensuring European banking supervision that is effective and consistent. We promote financial integration through our central bank services, for example by supporting EU debt securities to fund the NextGenerationEU programme. But the future of EU capital markets hinges on the broader regulatory environment, which is in your hands. Deeper, more integrated EU capital markets are essential for enhancing risk sharing and mobilising the private financing needed, especially for the green and digital transition.

I know that work is underway, that the Commission is playing its part and the ECON Committee is also active in that respect. But more needs to be done. It is critically important if we want capital to flow and to feed the ambitions that you have and that we legitimately have in relation to our green transition and digital mutation. Now, by the same token, we must not overlook the crucial work remaining for the completion of the banking union – an issue highlighted in your draft resolution and on which this Parliament has been vocal in pushing for progress.

Second, the reform of the EU economic governance framework. The ECB has highlighted – and has gone public in that respect – the importance of a simpler and more predictable framework, stronger national ownership and sustained implementation. I really encourage policymakers, including this Parliament in particular, to rapidly reach a viable and broadly—shared agreement that strengthens the foundations of our economic and monetary union.

Third, the digital euro. An appropriate regulatory framework needs to be laid down. The Digital Euro project is a truly European initiative which is moving ahead at a steady pace. In the autumn, the ECB’s investigation phase will come to an end and the Governing Council may well decide on the next steps.

But let me be clear, that does not mean that we will then issue the digital euro. That would only happen at a later stage, based on a dedicated decision, and only after Parliament and the Council of the EU have adopted the legislative act. As EU policymakers, all the EU policymakers should continue playing their part, and I’m really counting on you, as the European Parliament, to swiftly start working on the legislative proposal, which the European Commission has been working hard on and intends to present in a few months.

So let me conclude at this point. We are committed to bringing inflation back to our 2% medium—term target in line with our mandate, and we will take the necessary measures to do so. As Thomas Jefferson once wrote: ‘the price of freedom is eternal vigilance’. In a democratic society, central bank independence can only be legitimate if it is founded on a clear mandate and balanced with accountability, to ensure that the central bank follows and respects its mandate.

This also means that forceful efforts to ensure price stability need to be accompanied by equally forceful democratic scrutiny. In this spirit, we will continue our ongoing dialogue with you as the representatives of the EU citizens, as also advocated in your draft resolution. The ECB stands ready to agree on a formalisation in writing of the accountability practices between the ECB and the European Parliament. The ECB has made a proposal to the European Parliament and looks forward to finalising an agreement between our two institutions.

At this point of my conclusion, I would like to recognise the President of the ECON Committee. Ms Irene Tinagli, without whom progress would not have taken place. The entire ECON Committee has been a great partner in the work that we do together, but without her it wouldn’t have moved. So thank you, and thank you to you all for your attention. I’m now looking forward to listening and, if more explanation is needed, of course I’ll come back at the end of this debate.

 
  
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  President. – Thank you very much, Madam President, also for your patience to wait for several hours on this exceptional day – six hours. Thank you very much also to Commissioner McGuinness, who has the floor now.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, as they say, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. I have to say, it’s my unexpected pleasure to be taking part in this debate and to recognise Madam Presidents around me. This is an important debate because we do recognise the independence of the ECB, but there is also a democratic accountability piece, and I think you outlined that very well in your contribution.

My thanks to the rapporteur, Mr Andreson, for your work and indeed your colleagues on the committee. And I think it’s also fair to say thank you to the chair of the ECON Committee, Irene Tinagli, who is a very good collaborator. My appreciation to all your colleagues.

Croatia joining the euro, the 20th member. A huge achievement for Croatia, but a European milestone also. The Commission shares the report’s deep concerns about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its consequences. The energy crisis led to a slowdown of economic activity, but our economies are proving to be a little bit more resilient than we might have expected. This is also evidenced by the recent Commission forecasts.

We, as a Commission, respect the ECB’s independence in the conduct of monetary policy. We fully acknowledge that the ECB has taken decisive actions to tame inflationary pressures and ensure that inflation expectations remain well anchored, and the ECB’s decision to bring inflation down to close to the target of 2%, avoiding a wage price spiral.

The draft report touches on the coordination of monetary, fiscal and structural policies, which is a topical issue. As monetary policy tightens, ensuring a consistent policy mix remains critical. Expansive monetary and fiscal policies played a huge stabilisation role and reinforced each other during the economic downturn caused by the pandemic crisis.

Now that our economies are being challenged by strong and persistent inflationary pressures, fiscal policy should avoid fuelling inflationary pressures. A further expansionary stance is not warranted. As the ongoing tightening of monetary policy reduces the available fiscal space, we should have a prudent fiscal policy. And, therefore, the euro area Member States should coordinate their fiscal policies to preserve debt sustainability and raise potential growth in a sustainable manner which would facilitate the task of monetary policy, bringing inflation back to 2%.

The Commission has strongly advocated a better targeting of the fiscal measures to cushion the impact of high energy prices on vulnerable households and companies. As energy prices have declined substantially, this becomes more relevant.

With the general escape clause being deactivated as of next year, it will be important to make swift progress with the discussions on the possible revision of the EU fiscal framework. A credible framework will contribute to safeguarding fiscal sustainability and promoting sustainable growth through investment and reforms. The Commission put forward orientations for a reform last year. We already had good discussions with the European Parliament and are also discussing this with Member States. On the basis of these discussions, the Commission will consider tabling legislative proposals.

Your report stresses the importance of addressing climate change. We welcome the ECB’s efforts to incorporate climate change considerations in its monetary policy framework within its price stability mandate. This complements the actions taken by the Commission and Member States to address climate change and promote green investments, including, for instance, through the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The implementation of the RRF and REPowerEU is all the more important with the new green industrial plan. Policy objectives enshrined in the REPowerEU Regulation explicitly include aims that are directly relevant to the industrial transition to climate neutrality, including industrial decarbonisation; the development of renewable and fossil-free hydrogen; green skills; and the support to develop value chains and technologies linked to the green transition.

I have to say, President Lagarde, I welcome very much your strong statement on Capital Markets Union. We cannot say it frequently enough. We had an excellent debate here yesterday evening on ELTIF reforms, and there is a shared desire to move this project forward. So, we really need to keep up the pressure and indeed also on banking union. I look forward to the debate.

 
  
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  Sven Simon, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, Colleagues, what can be better than spending six hours in this beautiful city of Strasbourg? My colleague François-Xavier Bellamy knows that I will fight to keep the seat of the Parliament in Strasbourg. I have two remarks on this report where I perhaps disagree: one on proportionality and the other on climate change.

In paragraph 30, we stressed that where the ECB faces a choice between different sets of policies that are equally conducive to price stability, it will choose those that best support the general economic policies of the EU. No, it’s not about economic policies of the EU. When we talk about proportionality, it is not a question of whether the ECB acts proportionally in relation to the economic policies of the EU. However, it will exceed its mandate if the effects of its measures disproportionately affect the economic policies of the Member States, because economic policies lie in the competence of the Member States. We had this dispute involving the German Constitutional Court, and then it went up to the Commission and back to the government. I would like to thank you for the cooperative and constructive engagement from the ECB in solving this problem.

Secondly, climate change: Commissioner McGuinness mentioned that in paragraph 36 of the report, it notes that price stability and a stable macroeconomic environment are needed to encourage green investment and would help, among other things, to create the right conditions for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and invites the ECB to assess to what extent climate change affects its ability to maintain price stability. The last sentence is right, but with the first I have problems. Climate change will have implications for central bank balance sheets and policy objectives – that is true.

When we say the ECB should help to create the right conditions for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, no, definitely not. Impacts of climate change and policy transitions have consequences for the primary objective of price stability, but of course the ECB must not help to create the right conditions for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. It has to fulfil its task of price stability and thereby take into account climate change implications which might influence its policy objectives. That is something totally different, but obviously hard to understand.

 
  
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  Margarida Marques, em nome do Grupo S&D. – Senhora Presidente, Senhora Comissária McGuinness, Senhora Presidente Lagarde, o primeiro apelo deste relatório é a necessidade de existir uma maior e real coordenação entre política monetária e política orçamental. Esta coordenação foi crucial na crise da COVID-19. Na atual crise, há um défice de coordenação.

Como sublinhou a Comissão Europeia esta semana, os efeitos da política de aumento de juros do BCE são já visíveis. Os custos de financiamento estão a subir rapidamente para as famílias, empresas e Estados-Membros. O crédito está a reduzir-se drasticamente, primeiro para as famílias e, mais recentemente, para as empresas. O número de casos de famílias que viram reduzidos os seus rendimentos e que já não conseguem pagar os seus créditos à habitação é preocupante, com implicações imprevisíveis. A inflação tem-se reduzido ligeiramente, mas, sobretudo, via descida dos preços da energia.

Precisamos de respostas coordenadas e equilibradas no combate à inflação, mas precisamos também de respostas coordenadas para apoiar o crescimento, o emprego e os investimentos estratégicos. E este ponto leva-me a um segundo apelo deste relatório, para que o BCE atue, na linha dos Tratados, também de forma mais ativa no cumprimento do seu mandato secundário e apoie as políticas gerais da União. Esta é uma necessidade urgente, desde logo, no combate às alterações climáticas.

No relatório, destacamos ainda a urgência de completar a união bancária com um seguro europeu de depósitos; a avaliação do impacto e eficácia das recentes subidas das taxas de juro; a análise e a ação sobre os lucros excessivos da banca; a importância do Pilar Europeu dos Direitos Sociais e das PME; a necessidade de avançar no euro digital e monitorizar as criptomoedas; e a promoção da igualdade de género no BCE.

Presidente Lagarde – e termino –, conhecemos os desafios inéditos que a atual crise inflacionista coloca à política monetária. Para a enfrentar necessitamos de um BCE independente, mas necessitamos também de um BCE mais previsível nas suas decisões e mais cooperante com as demais instituições europeias e com os Estados-Membros.

 
  
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  Caroline Nagtegaal, namens de Renew-Fractie. – Voorzitter, president Lagarde, al ruim een jaar hebben we in Europa te maken met de hoogste inflatie die we in decennia hebben gezien. Dit merken de burgers in hun portemonnee. Gelukkig is de ECB ontwaakt en voert zij haar strijd tegen de inflatie op.

De ECB moet echter niet almaar nieuwe manieren vinden om Zuid-Europese begrotingen te stutten, maar doen wat nodig is om de inflatie terug te dringen en uitstralen dat de strijd tegen deze inflatie menens is. Helaas lijkt de ECB meer belangstelling te hebben voor klimaatbeleid dan voor de torenhoge inflatie. Een wijs gezegde luidt: schoenmaker, blijf bij je leest.

Deze boodschap wil ik graag aan mevrouw Lagarde meegeven: richt u op de strijd tegen de inflatie, laat het klimaatbeleid over aan politici en laat landen hun begrotingen zelf op orde brengen.

Kortom, de ECB moet doen wat nodig is.

 
  
  

PRZEWODNICTWO: EWA KOPACZ
Wiceprzewodnicząca

 
  
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  Ernest Urtasun, en nombre del Grupo Verts/ALE. – Señora presidenta, presidenta Lagarde, comisario, la evaluación de la inflación es motivo de preocupación para nuestra ciudadanía. Sin embargo, tengo que decir que la decisión por parte del BCE de abordar el problema aumentando agresivamente los tipos de interés no es la receta adecuada.

Estamos ante la subida más pronunciada en un año de tipos de interés que han conocido muchísimos países en Europa. Sin embargo, sabemos que la inflación está impulsada principalmente por los precios de los combustibles fósiles, por los beneficios extraordinarios empresariales, como ha señalado el propio BCE, y es la consecuencia de décadas de retraso en la transición ecológica.

El BCE propiamente ha reconocido que el aumento de tipos no puede hacer bajar los precios de la energía, pero en cambio afectará negativamente los costes de endeudamiento de empresas y hogares, incluidas las hipotecas, las inversiones en eficiencia energética y el impulso también, por qué no decirlo, de las renovables. Y acabamos de escapar por muy poco la recesión en la eurozona.

La inflación actual solo puede abordarse acelerando la transición energética de una vez por todas. Y el BCE debería desplegar una política monetaria más ecológica, aplicando, por ejemplo, tipos de interés diferenciados para actividades verdes, como, por cierto, han empezado a hacer ya los bancos centrales de China y de Japón.

Esto significa ofrecer tipos de refinanciación más baratos para los bancos que aumentan los préstamos para proyectos verdes. El BCE tiene experiencia de sobra con este tipo de operaciones de préstamos condicionales tras las tres rondas ya de TLTRO. La mejor manera de combatir la inflación no es castigando más a los hogares, sino acelerando la transición ecológica.

 
  
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  Gerolf Annemans, namens de ID-Fractie. – Voorzitter, dit jaarverslag over de ECB behoort tot de vele obligate nummertjes die in dit halfrond worden opgevoerd om de instellingen overeind te houden door een blanco cheque uit te delen met de goedkeuring van het Parlement. Even obligaat zijn in dit verslag zinnen verwerkt waarin het Parlement “zijn bezorgdheid uit”, dit jaar meer bepaald over de historisch hoge inflatie, die zoveel Europeanen in de misère duwt.

Laten we elkaar in de ogen kijken en nagaan waar deze inflatie vandaan komt. Deze inflatie is het gevolg van een geldcreatie waarvan wij dit jaar de tiende verjaardag vieren. De euro is een onnatuurlijke munt, die gecreëerd is om politieke redenen, met louter politieke criteria en tegen de wetenschappelijke vragen in of één muntzone wel geschikt is voor landen en entiteiten die economisch zo ver uit elkaar liggen.

De elite van de Europese Unie, de meerderheid in het Parlement, heeft niettemin volgehouden om meer politieke eenheid te kunnen afdwingen en het begrotings-, het economisch en zelfs het sociaal beleid van de lidstaten te kunnen bepalen. De munt is een wurginstrument van deze eenheidsstaat. Toen deze onnatuurlijke munt begon te destabiliseren, hebt u bij Mario Draghi aangeklopt om koste wat het kost geld in dit systeem te pompen. Nu is er geen weg terug en tracht u met de verhoging van de rente weer greep te krijgen op de situatie.

De burgers van de Unie zijn de slachtoffers van dit verhaal. Uw politieke dromen over een eengemaakt Europa hebben hen in een monetair en economisch moeras gesleurd.

 
  
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  Johan Van Overtveldt, namens de ECR-Fractie. – Voorzitter, de ECB heeft het structurele karakter van het inflatieprobleem, dat in de loop van het eerste kwartaal van vorig jaar al zichtbaar was, pas laat onderkend. Gelukkig heeft de aanvankelijke aarzeling plaatsgemaakt voor de noodzakelijke maatregelen op het gebied van renteverhogingen en balansafbouw.

We zijn er echter nog lang niet. De algemene inflatie daalt, maar de onderliggende inflatie is momenteel stabiel. Niettemin is deze nog altijd aan de hoge kant. Dit betekent dat er aanvullende inspanningen moeten worden geleverd.

Wat het langetermijnbeleid betreft, moet de inflatiedoelstelling van 2 % voor de prijzen van goederen en diensten onder de loep worden genomen. Na alles dat we de afgelopen tijd hebben meegemaakt, moeten we ons afvragen hoe zinvol het nog is om ons enkel op die ene norm of dat ene streefcijfer te richten. We moeten bijvoorbeeld kijken naar de voortdurende inflatie van activa die ons de afgelopen tijd op een aantal gebieden in aanzienlijke tot hoge mate parten heeft gespeeld. Het is naar mijn mening hoog tijd om in de beleidsvorming actiever ouderwetse aggregaten (geldhoeveelheid, kredietvolumes) op te nemen.

Hoe dan ook moet prijsstabiliteit voor de ECB de bepalende taak zijn en blijven. Prijsstabiliteit is immers van groot belang voor sociaal-economische stabiliteit. Andere doelstellingen, waaronder op het gebied van klimaatbeleid, zijn ondergeschikt aan de doelstelling van prijsstabiliteit.

 
  
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  José Gusmão, em nome do Grupo The Left. – Senhora Presidente, o Banco Central Europeu está atualmente a conduzir uma política monetária contraditória com as suas próprias análises. Foi o Banco Central Europeu que caracterizou a inflação que estamos a viver como decorrendo, essencialmente, dos preços da energia, dos bens alimentares e de estrangulamentos económicos resultantes da recuperação da crise pós-pandémica. Tudo fatores pouco sensíveis às medidas de política monetária tradicional.

E não por acaso, após vários aumentos das taxas de juro, o principal efeito de redução da inflação que estamos a observar resulta dos preços da energia. Aliás, mostrando o que seria a política correta: limitar os lucros absolutamente extraordinários e oportunistas das empresas do setor da energia e de outras empresas que estão a lucrar com a crise, protegendo a economia e protegendo as pessoas.

O que estamos a verificar é uma perda real dos salários, ao mesmo tempo que os lucros disparam. Uma análise que, aliás, o Banco Central Europeu também fez quando mostrou que os lucros estão a ter um contributo recorde para a inflação a que estamos a assistir.

No entanto, quando o BCE avisa dos perigos de espirais inflacionistas, é apenas dos salários que fala, dos salários que estão a perder valor e nunca dos lucros que disparam, o que mostra que o BCE é uma instituição bem mais política do que nos quer fazer acreditar.

A independência do BCE é isto: é o direito a lançar a economia europeia numa recessão, em nome de uma política monetária ineficaz, pela qual ninguém irá responder.

 
  
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  Enikő Győri (NI). – Elnök Asszony! Az Oroszország elleni szankciók az egekbe lökték az egyébként is emelkedő energia és élelmiszerárakat. Ennek köszönhetően az infláció tavaly kétszámjegyű lett az Unióban, ez pedig a szegények adója. Így kulcsfontosságú, hogy az EKB teljes erejével az árstabilitás helyreállításán dolgozzon. Ez a nem euróövezeti országok számára is fontos, mivel nem tudják függetleníteni magukat az euróövezet történéseitől. Ennek fényében üdvözlök minden, az EKB által foganatosított, a pénzügyi ellenálló képességet és az árstabilitást szolgáló intézkedést.

Sajnálattal tapasztalom ugyanakkor, hogy a baloldal ismételten nem a polgárok érdekét nézi. Az infláció elleni küzdelem közepette ideológiai töltetet kívánnak adni a jegybanki tevékenységnek, és még az árak növekedésének megfékezését is akadályoznák a monetáris szigorítás megszüntetésével. Az EKB erőfeszítéseit a zöldítés érdekében elismerem, a Magyar Nemzeti Bank is úttörő e téren, de az intézményt se zöld, se fejlesztési bankká ne változtassuk. A fő feladat a pénzromlás megállítása. Kérem, Elnök Asszony, ne engedjen teret az ilyen javaslatoknak, és tegyen meg mindent az árstabilitás helyreállítása érdekében!

 
  
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  François-Xavier Bellamy (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Commissaire, Madame la Présidente de la BCE, je voudrais m’associer aux remerciements de mon collègue Sven Simon et à ceux de tous mes collègues pour vous dire que nous sommes très reconnaissants que vous soyez restée si tard – malgré les difficultés de la journée au sein du Parlement européen – pour cette discussion importante.

Vous avez cité Thomas Jefferson, qui disait que «le prix de la liberté, c’est la vigilance éternelle». Vigilance qu’il faut garantir envers les dangers qui ne sont pas encore passés, mais qui sont devant nous. Et l’un d’entre eux – je crois –, c’est celui auquel nous exposent les conséquences de l’insouciance, de long terme, de beaucoup d’États membres de l’Union européenne, qui ont vécu, pendant longtemps, dans un monde presque fictif.

«Whatever it takes», «quoi qu’il en coûte». Ces mots bien connus de l’un de vos prédécesseurs ont représenté une sorte d’autorisation de faire face à toutes les crises avec la même maxime: «quoi qu’il en coûte».

Hier c’était la COVID-19, aujourd’hui c’est la hausse des prix de l’énergie qui fait que les dettes publiques n’ont cessé d’augmenter dans beaucoup de nos pays. Or, nous le voyons, l’inflation – dont vous avez dit à quel point elle est pesante est éprouvante pour beaucoup de ménages européens – oblige la Banque centrale européenne à remonter ses taux d’intérêt.

Pour un pays comme le mien, la France – un pays comme le nôtre, même, Madame la Présidente –, chaque point d’augmentation des taux d’intérêt représente, à moyen terme, 20 milliards d’euros de dépenses supplémentaires sur cinq ans et 40 milliards d’euros sur dix ans. Chaque point d’augmentation!

Et vous l’avez dit: malheureusement, cela pourrait ne pas suffire à faire baisser l’inflation. Nous risquons de nous trouver dans une situation terrible: nos États n’auraient plus les moyens d’intervenir sur le plan social, en étant confrontés à cette asphyxie que créerait une nouvelle crise de la dette.

Alors, Madame la Présidente, je n’ai qu’une seule question à vous poser: craignez-vous, vous aussi, une nouvelle crise de la dette? Et ne croyez-vous pas qu’il est temps de revenir à cette autre maxime bien connue de Thomas Jefferson: «Ne dépensez pas votre argent avant de l’avoir gagné»?

 
  
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  Jonás Fernández (S&D). – Señora presidenta, señora comisaria, presidenta Lagarde, hace ya algún tiempo, cuando el Banco Central Europeo revisaba la definición de la estabilidad de precios, algunos consideramos que había cierta incertidumbre en esa nueva definición.

Ese medio plazo albergaba dudas sobre si eran 18 meses, dos años, un año... ¿Qué era «a medio plazo»? Además, introducía incertidumbre sobre en qué medida podríamos definir el 2 % en ese medio plazo, si hablábamos de la media en ese periodo, de la mediana, de la moda.

En cualquier caso, más allá de estas incertidumbres, lo que parece claro es que la inflación está ya moderándose y que las propias previsiones del Banco Central Europeo sitúan la inflación en el cuarto trimestre de este año en el 3,6 %, lo que significa que en diciembre estaríamos en el 3 %. Además, las propias previsiones del BCE sitúan la inflación durante todo el año 2024 algo por encima del 2 %.

Por lo tanto, con estas previsiones ceteris paribus, sin asumir ningún cambio de política monetaria, en 18 meses tendríamos una inflación de poco más del 2 %. Yo pediría prudencia ante futuras subidas.

 
  
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  Billy Kelleher (Renew). – Madam President, I welcome the fact that we respect the independence of the ECB in this House. That’s good to hear again and to be reinforced by most political groupings.

I just want to reference a couple of challenges that I see very close at hand that we have to address both in this House, but also in terms of the Council, the Commission and even the observations of the ECB, and that is the unwinding of this emergency escape clause and the reintroduction of a new stability and growth pact.

I am just very concerned that, with the rising costs of funds to households, to businesses, to sovereigns, we will be significantly challenged in the short and medium term if we can’t bring forward a new stability and growth pact that underpins all we’re trying to do in terms of monetary policy, from the ECB point of view, but also in terms of fiscal policy, from Member States across the European Union.

We are significantly challenged, and there is no point us pretending inside this House that a lot of Member States are not heavily indebted. We have to come up with solutions to ensure that they can weather that storm and that citizens will not experience what they experienced in 2008, 2009 and 2010 during the previous financial crisis.

 
  
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  Henrike Hahn (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin! Mit dem Jahresbericht 2022 zur Europäischen Zentralbank formuliert das Europäische Parlament klare Erwartungen. Wir wissen, Zinserhöhungen sind ein wichtiges Instrument für Geldpolitik, aber sie können weder Energiepreise senken noch die Inflation kurzfristig entscheidend beeinflussen.

Und gerade deshalb muss die EZB in Zukunft mehr Gewicht auf ihr Sekundärmandat legen, für eine sozial gerechte und grüne europäische Wirtschaftspolitik. Es ist verantwortungslos, dass der Abschnitt des EZB-Jahresberichts 2022 zur Klimapolitik der EZB durch die EVP‑Fraktion so verwässert wurde. Und man fragt sich, welches Problem die EVP mit Klimaschutz gerade auch zur Wohlstandswahrung überhaupt hat und wie sie das vor den Menschen und der Industrie in Europa eigentlich rechtfertigen will.

Auch die EZB weiß, dass Geldstabilität und die Bekämpfung des Klimawandels zusammengehören, und deshalb brauchen wir die Einführung differenzierter Zinssätze für grüne Investments von der EZB, um die wettbewerbsfähige Transformation der Wirtschaft voranzutreiben.

 
  
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  Gunnar Beck (ID). – Frau Präsidentin, Frau Kommissarin, Frau Präsidentin! Die EZB macht den Ukrainekrieg und globale Ursachen wie steigende Energie-, Düngemittel- und Transportkosten für die Rekordinflation der Lebensmittelpreise verantwortlich.

2022 betrug die Lebensmittelpreisinflation im Euroraum 15,5 % und in Deutschland sogar 19,2 %. Im Vergleich – in den USA betrug sie 12,4 %, in Japan 6,4 % und in der Schweiz und Israel jeweils nur 4 %. Seltsam, wenn weltweit höhere Energie-, Dünger- und Transportkosten die Preise antreiben, wieso sind dann die Lebensmittelpreise im Euroraum fast viermal so schnell und in Deutschland fast fünfmal so schnell gestiegen wie im Hochalpenland Schweiz, das kaum Agrarfläche hat, oder im Halbwüstenstaat Israel?

Hier werden also Märchen erzählt, denn die Hauptgründe für die Rekordinflation sind die EZB-Geldpolitik – denn wer die Geldmenge innerhalb weniger Jahre um 70 % ausweitet, kann auf Dauer Inflation nicht vermeiden – und zweitens die nutzlose EU-Klimapolitik –nutzlos, weil der Einfluss der EU auf das Weltklima bei einem Anteil von nicht einmal 8 oder 9 % an den weltweiten Emissionen asymptotisch null ist – und drittens die Russland-Sanktionen, die uns mehr schaden als Russland.

Jahr für Jahr fällt die Eurozone wirtschaftlich zurück – weltweit und selbst gegenüber der Nicht-Euro-EU. Und die EU selbst fällt weltweit zurück; wir werden zweitklassig. Und deshalb sollten wir unser Geld in Zukunftssektoren investieren und nicht mit grünen Traumtänzereien vergeuden.

 
  
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  Bogdan Rzońca (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Pani Komisarz! Pani Prezes! Bardzo uważnie słuchałem wystąpienia pani prezes i muszę powiedzieć, że jednak kiedy mówimy o euro, to jest to też w pewnym sensie, jako waluta, projekt ideologiczny. Inflacja w Niderlandach wynosiła 17%, a w Polsce 18%. Polska nie jest w strefie euro.

Jeśli chodzi o unię bankową, oczywiście może jest bardzo istotne, żeby dojść do tej unii bankowej, ale jak pogodzimy w tej chwili takie dwa światy jak banki Południa – w Grecji, Hiszpanii, we Włoszech – i banki Północy? Są kolosalne różnice w ich funkcjonowaniu. Ilość nietrafionych kredytów w tych bankach południowych jest przerażająca. Wobec tego mamy tutaj kolejny problem.

Tak więc neutralność rynkowa Europejskiego Banku byłaby największą wartością, o którą wszyscy powinni się starać, żeby nie było tej presji politycznej i tej presji ideologicznej. Bo na przykład obok neutralności bankowej mamy ideologiczny projekt pod nazwą zazielenianie, zzielenienie, zazielenianie... do końca nie wiemy, o co chodzi. To wszystko jest niewyliczone, chociaż bardzo oczywiście cenne z punktu widzenia dyskusyjnego, bo wszyscy chcemy żyć w czystej przestrzeni ekologicznej. Jednak więcej realizmu ekonomicznego jest absolutnie nam potrzebne.

Słaba była też, moim zdaniem, reakcja Europejskiego Banku Centralnego w sytuacji po pandemii. W pandemii wpompowano w różnych krajach bardzo dużo środków finansowych, słusznie ratując gospodarkę. Ale reakcja po pandemii była trochę zbyt wolna, moim zdaniem, i trzeba by było szybciej opanować pieniądz, pusty pieniądz, który funkcjonuje na rynku ekonomicznym czy gospodarczym.

Krótko mówiąc ta reakcja dzisiaj, że będą jeszcze podnoszone stopy procentowe jest bardzo dobrym kierunkiem, będziemy taką reakcję popierać. Chcielibyśmy po prostu żyć w Unii Europejskiej, która będzie bardzo konkurencyjna względem Stanów Zjednoczonych i Chin, a do tego potrzebny jest po prostu eurorealizm gospodarczy.

 
  
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  Chris MacManus (The Left). – Madam President, Madam Commissioner, colleagues, five times in nine months the ECB has increased interest rates, with huge implications both economic and societal. It’s the final straw for many struggling to get by at a time of immense pressure on working families and people.

In Ireland, this is compounded by the EU and our government’s fixation on vulture funds. When family mortgages were sold off to vultures, those families were promised their full rights. Now, as the ECB turns the screw tighter, these families have found that such promises are now worthless. These mortgage holders are now trapped in schemes with little option to escape. Many have seen their repayments rise by thousands of euros a year, with further rate hikes likely. If they fall behind, they have less recourse to access solutions.

This Parliament, which lined up behind the EU proposal to back vulture funds, now knows the real human impacts of its policies. Targeted interest relief is needed in Ireland. The EU and ECB must stop prioritising vulture funds and banks over working families.

 
  
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  Λευτέρης Νικολάου-Αλαβάνος (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, η έκθεση προωθεί τον σχεδιασμό τραπεζικών και επιχειρηματικών ομίλων και της στρατηγικής της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και της Κεντρικής Τράπεζας που οδηγεί σε αυξήσεις στους τόκους έως 33%, γιγάντωση κόκκινων δανείων και γενικευμένους πλειστηριασμούς λαϊκής περιουσίας. Αυτόν τον στόχο υπηρετεί και η απόφαση του Αρείου Πάγου στην Ελλάδα για πογκρόμ πλειστηριασμών που στηρίζεται στον πτωχευτικό νόμο της κυβέρνησης της Νέας Δημοκρατίας και σε εκείνον της προηγούμενης του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ που παρέδωσε τα κόκκινα δάνεια στα αρπακτικά των funds. Όσο για την κούρσα τιμών και πληθωρισμού, είναι αποτελέσματα των γιγάντιων επιδοτήσεων στα μονοπώλια μέσω του υπερμνημονίου Ταμείου ανάκαμψης και του φτηνού δανεισμού με χρήματα των εργαζομένων. Τελικά πιο επεκτατική, πιο περιοριστική, η στρατηγική σας απαιτεί πάντα μισθούς και δικαιώματα στα τάρταρα. Μόνο ο λαός μπορεί να σώσει τον λαό, διεκδικώντας πραγματικά μέτρα προστασίας του εισοδήματος, απαγόρευση πλειστηριασμών, διαγραφή χρεών-πανωτοκίων των λαϊκών νοικοκυριών. Κόντρα στους ομίλους, τις τράπεζες και τα funds και στην καταστολή των κινητοποιήσεων του λαού που χάνει σήμερα τα σπίτια του.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Madam President, I would like to thank the rapporteurs, as well as President Lagarde for her work, particularly in the ECB’s interest in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) for which I am rapporteur.

Inflation driven by high energy costs demonstrates the need for the ECB to further incentivise renovations in order to fulfil its price stability mandate. Buildings are the EU’s most valuable financial assets, worth tens of trillions of euros. In my view, the EPBD is as much about assets and investment protection as it is climate change, as low EPC—rated buildings will be less valuable.

The reality is that public money will only stretch so far. There need to be much stronger links between the financial and the renovation sectors, as access to finance is one of the main barriers for people and businesses as they try to renovate.

In this regard, President Lagarde, what is your view on the proposed European Renovation Loan and the European Guarantee Fund for Building Renovations, as well as on incentivising commercial banks to provide renovation solutions?

 
  
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  Irene Tinagli (S&D). – Madam President, recently a Minister of an EU Member State said, complaining, that the ECB is not accountable to anyone except herself. This is simply not true. Not only is this debate proving that is not true, but so do all the practices that we have. The ECB President regularly comes to discuss ECB actions in the ECON Committee of this Parliament, and we scrutinise the ECB actions very seriously, very thoroughly.

However, as President Lagarde recalled, this accountability exercise is largely based on practices, most of which are not explicitly written or codified. But now we are ready to change this, and I’m really happy about it. We’ve been waiting for a long time. Twenty—five years ago, a Parliament report called for an agreement with the soon—to—be—established ECB. For over 20 years, no progress was made. But more recently, in the ECON Committee, during one of these debates, we started to discuss with President Lagarde about this need and we started with her a fruitful dialogue. I’m so pleased that the ECB is now ready to take this step and I want to thank President Lagarde for her openness, her availability. Please let me acknowledge her work.

The independence of the ECB must be preserved but, at the same time, independence and accountability must go hand in hand. This is what we have done, this is what we will do, and this will reinforce citizens’ trust and silence the sceptics.

 
  
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  Claude Gruffat (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Commissaire, Madame Lagarde, pour beaucoup de citoyens européens et de citoyennes européennes, la BCE est indépendante, elle est à Francfort et on y parle de taux directeurs. Mais depuis la guerre que mène M. Poutine en Ukraine, son rôle est devenu beaucoup plus concret, et notamment sur son choix de relever ces fameux taux.

La politique monétaire ne peut rien faire contre la hausse des prix de l’énergie ou du blé. Alors à quoi bon lui donner un tour restrictif? Ce serait un bon choix si la hausse des prix était due à une augmentation de la demande. Mais ce n’est pas le cas dans la zone euro, où nous subissons une inflation de pénurie et payons notre dépendance aux énergies fossiles. Des taux d’intérêt plus élevés ne permettront donc pas de contrer la hausse des prix et ils risquent surtout d’être extrêmement coûteux pour nos économies.

J’ai dès lors deux questions: si lutter contre cette inflation, c’est d’abord investir massivement dans des secteurs en tension, réduire nos dépendances et transformer la structure de l’offre et de la demande, en mettant en œuvre des outils pour adapter nos besoins, quelle action la BCE entend-elle mener dans ce sens pour l’année qui vient?

Et ma deuxième question: sachant – et je conclus – qu’il sera difficile de ramener l’inflation à 2 %, sauf à provoquer une forte récession et une hausse du chômage, la BCE entend-elle prendre des mesures pour lutter contre cela?

 
  
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  Antonio Maria Rinaldi (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signora Presidente Lagarde, signora Commissaria McGuinness, nel commentare la relazione 2022 della BCE, è necessario evidenziare che l'attuale incremento dell'inflazione è dovuto all'innalzamento repentino dei prezzi dei prodotti energetici e delle commodities, non solo a causa della guerra, ma ancor prima a causa delle precedenti scelte sulle politiche green, non sostenibili per il mantenimento della precedente capacità industriale europea.

Lo schema statutario della BCE è rigidamente monetarista e pertanto, in una situazione di inflazione da fattori esogeni, opera in termini prociclici, amplificando, con effetti depressivi, le criticità dei costi di interi settori produttivi, con conseguenti effetti negativi sui livelli occupazionali e retributivi reali.

L'azione della BCE non può correggere né le cause né gli effetti, ormai strutturali, di questa agflazione, ma può solo ottenere l'irreversibilità di una diffusa deindustrializzazione, accorpando a un irrisolto problema sul lato dell'offerta anche una crisi da domanda, correlata alla maggiore disoccupazione e precarizzazione del lavoro, che già stanno intaccando, con la riduzione dei salari reali, i livelli di vita essenziali, con il caro energia e l'aumento del costo dei finanziamenti per le imprese e le famiglie.

Neanche una svalutazione dell'euro è perseguibile, sia per il permanere dei tassi alti che per la cosiddetta condizione di Marshall-Lerner. Con l'imposizione forzata delle politiche green, i prezzi di produzione per le imprese esportatrici che subiscono l’agflazione non sono riconducibili oltre certi livelli minimi. La FED, di contro, alza i tassi per attrarre capitali e preservare il ruolo internazionale del dollaro, potendo compensare le conseguenze recessive con politiche fiscali espansive, mentre le rigide regole dei trattati non lo consentono.

Questo rende inevitabile un massiccio allentamento della disciplina degli aiuti di Stato sancite dagli articoli 107 e 108 del trattato sul funzionamento dell'Unione europea, che però, stante la vostra linea di "Quantitative Tightening", sarà consentito solo a quei paesi con maggiori spazi fiscali e sarà invece precluso a tutti gli altri, a causa del costo insostenibile del finanziamento degli Stati sui mercati, che voi stessi avete determinato con l'aumento dei tassi e la vendita dei titoli di Stato.

Lo scenario ricorda il famoso detto: l'operazione è perfettamente riuscita, ma il paziente è morto.

 
  
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  Eugen Jurzyca (ECR). – Vážená pani predsedajúca, zvyšovanie úrokových sadzieb konečne prináša svoje ovocie vo forme klesajúcej medziročnej inflácie. Vysoká inflácia je vážny ekonomický problém, aj spoločenský problém, ničí kúpnu silu peňazí, ničí úspory, zvyšuje neistotu, znemožňuje plánovanie, odrádza investície. Znižovanie vysokej inflácie na dlhodobo nízkej úrovni preto musí byť aj naďalej maximálnou prioritou.

Sekundárne ciele by podľa mňa mali ísť do veľkej miery nateraz bokom preto, lebo je stále ohrozený primárny cieľ. Hoci nie každý uznáva, že inflácia v eurozóne má najmä monetárne príčiny, všetci uznávajú, že infláciu treba odstraňovať najmä monetárnymi prostriedkami vrátane rastúcich úrokových sadzieb. Keďže od inflačného cieľa sme stále ďaleko, považujem za dôležité, aby Európska centrálna banka zachovala svoj súčasný reštriktívny monetárny kurz.

 
  
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  Sira Rego (The Left). – Señora presidenta, señora Lagarde, las decisiones que toman ustedes en el Banco Central Europeo son una pesadilla para cualquier familia trabajadora. Saben perfectamente, porque ya han salido reconociéndolo, que su empeño en subir los tipos de interés no está conteniendo la inflación, porque tiene que ver con los precios de la energía.

Por lo tanto, sus decisiones, que claro que están condicionadas políticamente, pero por quienes no se presentan a las elecciones, son un truco barato para seguir hinchando los bolsillos de las élites financieras y de la banca a costa de empobrecer a los trabajadores, entre otras cosas, por el brutal aumento de las hipotecas. Es un despropósito y una burla que, encima, ya haya amenazado con mantener y con incrementar.

Sé que para para ustedes es complicado, pero, para variar, sería magnífico, sería estupendo, que dejaran de gobernar contra la gente. Que no pasa nada porque los bancos no ganen un año más miles de millones de euros de beneficios obscenos. Hagan el favor de dejar de ser un activo tóxico para la ciudadanía.

 
  
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  Clara Ponsatí Obiols (NI). – Madam President, Madam Commissioner, whether the interest—rate hikes are helping to control inflation is open to discussion. What is certain is that the ECB is giving a huge subsidy to banks.

As Spanish banks reach historical profits, I think it is timely to remember the bailout of 2012. Your Vice-President, Luis de Guindos, was then the Spanish Economy Minister. He promised that the bailout would be paid by the banks themselves. It never happened. Fifty-eight billion were pumped into banks, and only 10% have been recovered up to date.

What’s more, Spain borrowed 43 billion from the European Stability Mechanism, and more than half are to be repaid. The burden falls entirely on the citizens. Disposable income is down by 7.85 – the worst figure in the OECD. It does not matter whether Rajoy or Sánchez are in charge: in Spain, the cronies always get their way with taxpayers’ money from the Union. When a country has systemic deficiencies, it shows everywhere.

 
  
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  Paul Tang (S&D). – Madam President, Commissioner, President Lagarde, the rise in interest rates is at best a necessary evil, but for the banking sector it is a time of fortune. With the higher interest rates, on their reserves, they are raking in profits. It’s about EUR 92 billion this year alone.

Professor Paul De Grauwe concludes that this is an unnecessary subsidy of private banks from public money. There are ways to stop this – and I’m happy to hear that from you, President Lagarde – but, until then, make sure that these profits don’t come for free. Instead of sending the unnecessary subsidy to shareholders, the extra profits should go into green investments and to keeping extra capital to prepare for climate change risks.

So, Madam Lagarde, use these profits to forge ahead in the greening of the financial sector, as the annual report suggests, ask for extra capital from polluting banks and stop accepting brown assets as collateral. Because if we don’t act now, I know to who the banks will turn when the time gets hot and tough!

 
  
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  Ana Miranda (Verts/ALE). – Senhora Presidente, Senhora Presidente Lagarde, o aumento da taxa de juros do Banco Central Europeu, no ano passado e no decorrer deste ano, é uma fraude, um autêntico escândalo. Esta subida, traduzida em língua da rua, pode chegar a 300 euros mensais a mais nas hipotecas das famílias que, como as galegas, têm cada vez menos recursos.

O BCE fabrica pobreza, promovendo políticas que favorecem os interesses do grande capital e são contrárias às maiorias sociais. O BCE fabrica pessoas pobres, famílias que dificilmente podem pagar a hipoteca ou que ficam sem casa ou trabalho, ou com trabalho precário. Resgata bancos e deixa abandonados povos como o meu.

Tenha alguma sensibilidade social pelo que estão a sofrer as pessoas. O BCE é responsável pelas políticas que empobrecem e pela austeridade, pelas políticas que aumentam a dívida pública na UE para salvar bancos privados, como os bancos espanhóis, que ganharam o ano passado mais do que nunca.

Contra esta injustiça, defendemos um resgate financeiro financiado pela banca para ajudar os afetados pelo aumento da taxa de juros. Parem de fabricar pobres, Senhora Lagarde! Parem de fabricar pobres!

 
  
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  France Jamet (ID). – Madame la présidente, Mesdames, Madame Lagarde, ç’a été dit plusieurs fois ce soir, effectivement: le rôle de la BCE est avant tout d’assurer la stabilité monétaire et de renforcer l’indépendance stratégique de l’Europe. La politique de verdissement idéologique de la BCE, aujourd’hui, au sens où l’entend l’Union européenne, la détourne non seulement de ses objectifs, mais aussi de son rôle.

Par contre, notre stabilité monétaire et notre indépendance stratégique passent par le soutien à la filière nucléaire, pierre angulaire sur laquelle la France a bâti sa prospérité. Décarbonée, abondante et abordable, elle doit être le socle de notre réindustrialisation, condition de notre indépendance et de notre compétitivité. C’est l’esprit du plan Biden, lancé au soutien de l’industrie américaine.

Que Bruxelles le qualifie de concurrence déloyale prouve qu’elle n’a rien compris aux enjeux politiques, économiques et géopolitiques auxquels nous sommes confrontés. Car c’est bien vers une relocalisation de notre politique énergétique et un patriotisme économique que nous devons nous orienter.

Notre souveraineté énergétique nous permettrait alors de protéger nos compatriotes, et particulièrement les plus précaires, contre la hausse des prix des denrées alimentaires, de l’électricité, du gaz, des loyers et du coût de la vie. Parce que, face aux abus de ce monde financiarisé, ce sont eux qui sont sanctionnés, car ce sont eux qui vivent dans l’économie réelle et qui paient le prix fort des dérives de Bruxelles.

 
  
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  Michiel Hoogeveen (ECR). – Voorzitter, president Lagarde, in 2021 liep de inflatie op tot 5 %. Wij waarschuwden keer op keer dat alles duurder wordt en dat spaargeld en pensioenen verdampen.

Om de Zuid-Europese schuldenlast betaalbaar te houden, hield de ECB de rente zo lang mogelijk negatief en bleef ze staatsschuld opkopen. Mevrouw Lagarde, u deed niets tegen de inflatie. Sterker nog, u gooide olie op het vuur en zei dat de inflatie tijdelijk was.

Toen de inflatie in 2022 opklom tot boven de 10 % begon de ECB de rente te verhogen. Dit gebeurde echter te laat en te langzaam. Het Nibud adviseert Nederlanders vijftienduizend euro spaargeld aan te houden. Van die vijftienduizend euro is sinds 2021 bijna een vijfde verdampt.

Hoewel de inflatie momenteel daalt, is 8,5 % nog altijd te hoog. Het ingezette pad van renteverhogingen moet niet worden getemperd, maar versneld tot het streefdoel van 2 % inflatie is bereikt. De rente moet omhoog en de Zuid-Europese schulden moeten omlaag.

 
  
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  João Pimenta Lopes (The Left). – Senhora Presidente, Senhora Presidente Lagarde, o BCE anunciou, recentemente, a quinta subida consecutiva das taxas de juro, prevendo novo aumento em março, como parte da resposta ao aumento da inflação, ignorando causas indissociáveis de opções da União Europeia e outros instrumentos e medidas monetárias e económicas que poderiam ser considerados.

Sucede que o mercado hipotecário não é homogéneo, predominando a taxa variável nos países da chamada periferia da zona euro. Os impactos das vossas políticas são, por isso, desiguais e sabem-no. As vossas opções sufocam milhares de famílias que, em alguns casos, como em Portugal, viram aumentar as prestações em 80%, estando simultaneamente confrontadas com a subida de preços de bens e serviços essenciais e acentuada desvalorização salarial.

Que tem a senhora a dizer neste impacto assimétrico nas famílias, mas também nas empresas e nas condições de financiamento dos Estados, que tenderá a agravar desigualdades, criando ainda mais dificuldades a estes países?

Já vimos este filme, Senhora Presidente Lagarde, em 2010 e 2012. Quer repetir essas políticas desastrosas?

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (NI). – Madam President, President Lagarde, dear Commissioner, dear colleagues, you may not be allowed to admit it, yet deflation has started.

Given that large part of the sky-high record inflation that was steeply driven that started arising after the end of the sanitary measures and eventually exacerbated by the war in Ukraine; given that energy prices have come down significantly, we are really concerned about further raises of ECB interest rates to cut demand and consumption in order to lower inflation. It just doesn’t seem the right way to achieve it.

We need to address the root causes of inflation, tailoring the solution to the issue, which is mainly energy-related. I want to remind to all of us that, in this particular situation, it is up to the co-legislators to act, to continue with our efforts to diversify our energy sources and reduce energy consumption. I am afraid that keeping rising interest rates would only have a harsher impact on entrepreneurs and households, who we must defend – and I reiterate, defend – not threaten.

 
  
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  Evelyn Regner (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin, sehr geehrte Frau Kommissarin, sehr geehrte Präsidentin Lagarde! Die Zahlen sagen es, und die Menschen spüren es: Das Leben ist für viele Menschen nicht mehr leistbar. Die Inflation – Sie haben es gesagt, Präsidentin Lagarde – ist auf 8,5 % im Jänner 2023 angestiegen. Dagegen müssen wir etwas tun.

Und die Europäische Zentralbank tut das auch: Sie erhöht den Leitzins. Die gängige Wirtschaftslehre besagt, dass man bei hoher Inflation die Zinsen anheben muss, um die zu heiß gelaufene Wirtschaft abzukühlen. Aber die Wirtschaft war nicht zu heiß. Die Inflationskrise ist das Produkt des russischen Angriffskriegs in der Ukraine, der die Energiepreise in die Höhe hat schnellen lassen. Spekulation und unangemessene Erhöhungen der Gewinnspannen tun ihr Übriges dazu. Wir haben also einen Angebotsschock.

Und hier wird eine simple Erhöhung des Leitzinses, so wie es die Europäische Zentralbank macht, nicht reichen und birgt eine aggressive Zinserhöhung Risiken einer Rezession und Probleme für Menschen mit Krediten. Daher sollten weitere Schritte in Richtung einer Zinserhöhung erst einmal abgewartet werden.

Um der Inflationskrise tatsächlich etwas effektiv entgegenzusetzen, braucht es fiskalpolitische Maßnahmen. Denn wie immer in der Wirtschaft gilt: Wer Geldpolitik sagt, muss auch Fiskalpolitik machen. Ohne wird es nicht gehen.

 
  
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  Roman Haider (ID). – Frau Präsidentin! Von 2019 bis 2022 hat die EZB ihre Bilanzsumme um 4,1 Billionen EUR erhöht. Jeden einzelnen Tag hat die EZB 4,5 Milliarden neue Euro gedruckt, und das ist auch die eigentliche Ursache für die hohe Inflation in Europa; da braucht man sich gar nicht auf den Ukrainekrieg herausreden.

Und warum hat die EZB das getan? Es war nichts anderes als verdeckte Staatsfinanzierung. Die EZB hat auf ihren Auftrag der Preisstabilität gepfiffen, um marode Staatsfinanzen zu sanieren. Und jetzt fliegt Ihnen diese ganze Politik um die Ohren.

Und da richten Sie auch gleich den nächsten großen Schaden an: Zuerst treiben Sie die Inflation mit einer Geldschwemme in enorme Höhen, und jetzt treiben Sie die Unternehmen mit abrupten Zinserhöhungen in den Ruin. Ihre Politik fügt sich leider nahtlos in die Politik der Kommission ein: ruinös, sinnlos, gefährlich für Bürger und Wirtschaft.

 
  
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  Dorien Rookmaker (ECR). – Voorzitter, mevrouw Lagarde, moet de ECB rekening houden met de mogelijkheid dat eurolanden de euro willen verlaten? Enige maanden geleden heb ik u gevraagd of de ECB een draaiboek heeft om de uittreding van eurolanden met hoge schulden die de rentelasten niet meer kunnen betalen, in goede banen te leiden. U reageerde daarop ontkennend en stelde dat de ECB daarvoor geen draaiboek heeft.

Intussen is de situatie veranderd en gaan ook in het rijke noorden stemmen op om de euro te verlaten. In Nederland stelde een oud-minister van Economische en Financiële Zaken onlangs dat het verlaten van de euro voor Nederland geen taboe meer mag zijn.

De gevaren van inflatie en onhoudbare schulden en de stabiliteitsrisico’s zijn te groot. Het extreme lagerentebeleid heeft geleid tot opgeblazen huizenprijzen en aandelenmarkten, en een explosie van schulden. De ECB houdt de rente niet laag om de economie te stutten, maar om de rentelasten van schulden voor met name de zuidelijke landen te beperken.

De inwoners van alle eurolanden hebben het recht om voor het verlaten van de euro te stemmen. Ik wil u daarom vragen naast een behouden koers ook een uittredingsscenario klaar te hebben.

 
  
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  Ivan Vilibor Sinčić (NI). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, danas imamo ovdje na raspravi, gospođa Lagarde nam je došla tražiti potporu za svoje izvješće za 2022. godinu.

Više puta je danas ovdje citiran Thomas Jefferson kako je visoka cijena slobode i tako dalje. Ima jedna druga Jeffersonova na koju bih se htio pozvati. Mislim da više vrijedi za zapad. Dakle, ako se dozvoli privatnim bankama da kontroliraju emisiju novca, da će se na koncu ljudi koji su izgradili kontinent pojaviti na njemu kao beskućnici.

Toliko o sekundarnoj emisiji, a što se tiče primarne emisije, kloliko je, gospođo Lagarde, u zadnjih nekoliko godina u odnosu na vrijeme prije krize stvoreno novih eura? Pitao sam komesara Gentilonija direktno, nije mi znao odgovoriti. Našao sam podatak da je negdje tridesetak posto, a dolara - podaci idu stotinjak posto, pa i više. Više se štampa nego što se uopće uspiju izvješća objaviti. U isto vrijeme imamo BRICS, koji planira napraviti novu, redovnu valutu. Pitam vas koja je onda budućnost eura i dolara kroz nekakvih deset godina?

Drugo, spominjali ste ulazak Hrvatske u eurozonu. Prvo ste spomenuli da, eto, se pokazuje da je eurozona još uvijek atraktivna. Drugo ste spomenuli da to jača zajedništvo. To su vam sve politički argumenti. Gdje su ekonomski argumenti? Zašto ste ih jedva dotaknuli? Zato što ih zapravo nema, zar ne?

Ovakvo izvješće vam sigurno neću poduprijeti.

 
  
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  Aurore Lalucq (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Commissaire, Madame la Présidente Lagarde, cher rapporteur, bravo pour le travail que vous avez réalisé!

Mme Schnabel, du directoire de la BCE, a déclaré en janvier 2023: «Nous avons besoin d’une meilleure compréhension de la façon dont le dérèglement climatique va agir sur le secteur financier, et vice versa; pour cela, le développement de données de grande qualité sera clé». Ma question est simple: vraiment?

Est-ce que nous avons le temps d’attendre? Est-ce que, pour commencer, nous serons capables d’avoir des données de bonne qualité sur des événements que nous ne sommes aujourd’hui pas en mesure d’imaginer? Et est-ce que nous devons attendre pour agir? Comme le disait Keynes, «à long terme, nous serons tous morts». Est-ce que nous ne serons pas tous morts quand nous aurons les bonnes données pour pouvoir agir? Pourquoi ne pas agir tout de suite, notamment sur le prudentiel?

On sait que certains établissements bancaires sont extrêmement exposés au risque fossile, risque fossile qui peut engendrer un risque systémique, risque systémique qui peut être évité en augmentant les exigences de fonds propres. Voilà donc ma question, Madame la Présidente Lagarde.

Cela dit, je crois que nous pouvons quand même être fiers, en Europe, d’avoir une banque centrale, la banque centrale qui évolue le plus vite dans le domaine environnemental. Certains pays, notamment les États-Unis, n’ont pas cette chance.

 
  
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  Matteo Gazzini (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signora Commissaria, signora Presidente, l'Europa sta affrontando una situazione di grande incertezza economico-finanziaria. Il conflitto in Ucraina ha provocato l'impennata dei prezzi dell'energia e delle materie prime. Secondo l'Eurostat, l'inflazione dell'area euro ha registrato un incremento annuale del 9,2 %.

Dopo aver alzato i tassi di interesse di 50 punti base a luglio dello scorso anno, la BCE ha deciso di proseguire con costanti rialzi e politiche monetarie di rafforzamento quantitativo. Queste misure influiranno negativamente, rimuovendo liquidità dai mercati finanziari e rendendo le rate sui mutui delle imprese sempre più difficili da sostenere, con un conseguente calo dell'occupazione. L'idea di tenere ad ogni costo l'inflazione al 2 % è un obiettivo arbitrario e non necessariamente condivisibile, i cui effetti si riverseranno negativamente sull'economia europea e in particolare sugli Stati maggiormente indebitati.

La maggior parte delle persone non potrà più accedere al credito e le imprese non saranno più incentivate a investire. Le misure della BCE per contenere l'inflazione sono del tutto sconsiderate e non tengono conto delle cause reali che hanno determinato l'inflazione. Non servono aumenti dei tassi e Quantitative Tightening. Serve, semmai, una distensione dei rapporti con la Russia, al fine di porre rimedio allo shock economico creatosi. Purtroppo, potremo valutare i discutibili provvedimenti della BCE solo nel 2024, quando le economie europee si troveranno in recessione.

 
  
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  Denis Nesci (ECR). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signora Commissaria, signora Presidente Lagarde, come dice lei, la fiducia è un elemento trainante dell'economia, ma il trend di rialzo dei tassi rischia di interrompere la fiducia, che è il motore stesso dell'economia.

Il rialzo dei tassi di interesse della BCE, attuato nel mese di marzo, e quello da lei preannunciato per il mese di marzo generano preoccupazione. La lieve ripresa economica europea, nell'incerto scenario economico che stiamo attraversando, rischia di essere arrestata dalle soluzioni che la BCE sta attuando. Pertanto, questa strada potrebbe frenare l'economia e ridurre la liquidità sui mercati e sugli investimenti per la crescita.

I dati delle maggiori associazioni di riferimento evidenziano che i tassi di interesse dei prestiti e dei mutui hanno sfondato la soglia del 3 %. Il contesto socioeconomico, già fortemente stressato dalla guerra e dal caro energia, deve essere considerato alla luce del nuovo aumento dei tassi di interesse che la BCE ha inteso attuare per marzo. Dunque, la strategia messa in campo dalla BCE potrebbe condizionare negativamente le prospettive economiche per i prossimi mesi per consumatori, famiglie e imprese e potrebbe penalizzare l'intero sistema economico europeo.

 
  
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  Hervé Juvin (NI). – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Commissaire, Madame la Présidente de la BCE, votre courtoisie est renommée. Nous sommes très sensibles au fait que vous ayez la patience de rester avec nous ce soir, et je crois que tous mes collègues s’unissent à moi pour vous saluer.

La décision politique majeure que vous avez prise avec le verdissement de la politique monétaire de la BCE appelle de ma part deux questions, notamment en cette période de forte inquiétude quant au maintien du pouvoir d’achat.

La première question porte sur sa légitimité: ne conviendrait-il pas d’envisager une nouvelle négociation et une extension de votre mandat pour légitimer ce verdissement de la politique monétaire, avec ses conséquences?

Parce que ma seconde question porte sur l’inquiétude de nombreux économistes, qui considèrent que la préférence irrationnelle et exorbitante pour les énergies renouvelables aura des effets inflationnistes marqués.

Serait-ce la raison pour laquelle on évoque de plus en plus un objectif d’inflation glissant de 2 à 4 ou 5 %? Ne craignez-vous pas les effets inflationnistes du verdissement forcé de votre politique monétaire?

 
  
 

Zgłoszenia z sali

 
  
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  Lídia Pereira (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, controlar a inflação é uma urgência económica e é uma emergência social. 8,5 % é um valor alto, mas 14 % nos produtos alimentares é preocupante e o aumento dos juros do crédito à habitação só aumenta a apreensão. Os mais pobres são os mais afetados pela inflação e a resposta de alguns governos tarda.

Vamos para a sexta subida consecutiva das taxas de juro do Banco Central Europeu. É a decisão que está ao alcance dos governadores e pergunto: e os governos nacionais? Em Portugal, que tem uma inflação abaixo da média europeia, o poder de compra dos portugueses está, hoje, em níveis de 2018.

Sem executar bem os fundos europeus, sem políticas ativas de emprego e sem estratégia para investimento e para as exportações, não vamos controlar a inflação. E pior, não vamos dar o novo rumo de que as nossas economias precisam.

 
  
 

(Koniec zgłoszeń z sali)

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, colleagues, this has been a really important debate. I think sometimes there is the impression that financial matters, fiscal policy and monetary policy belong to experts. But everything that we do in this area impacts people, and I think the President of the ECB has already reflected that.

I mean, many of you have expressed concerns about citizens, particularly vulnerable citizens, and that’s why the Commission has said we need to target support to those most in need. Indeed, the same goes for business as well: those that are vulnerable need support.

In relation to the comments around greening of the financial system, more investments in climate, there are many different views in this House – that’s the beauty of it. But the truth is that climate change will impact asset values and therefore we do need to integrate this huge issue into our financial system.

Last point is in relation to the digital euro. I just want to inform the House here, as I have with the ECON colleagues previously, that the Commission is now preparing a regulation based on Article 133 TFEU to establish the digital euro and regulate its main aspects, but of course leaving most of the technical design choices to the ECB. Indeed the final decision will be taken by the ECB, and I think, President Lagarde, you were very clear that this is an investigation that’s been carried out.

One of the things that we will deal with in the regulation is an accompanying proposal on legal tender status of euro cash. One of the things I’m concerned about is that there is already a feeling that a digital euro will remove access to cash, and this is not what we have envisaged. There are concerns around privacy. So this is really an issue which this Parliament will have to have a fundamental role in.

I have to say that I had no questions addressed to me, which is a privilege and a joy, but I now yield the floor to the president of the ECB, who I think had a few questions.

 
  
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  Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank. – Madam President, I wish to thank all the Members of this Parliament for addressing questions to me and for explaining their concerns, or the perspectives from which they are coming from. I would like on this occasion to thank Mr Andresen and his colleagues for the work that they’ve done and for the seriousness with which they did their work in coming to the ECB, visiting us and really going deeply into some of the issues that he has commented upon.

What I would like to do is focus my response on three key points which have been debated by many of you – and I apologise to those who had specific questions, but I think in the time that is imparted to me, I think I will not do justice to their curiosity if I focus on the 20 different Members who have asked questions.

So let me address three particular points that I think are on the mind of many. One, let me just go back a little bit to inflation and what our mission is and what our mandate will deliver. Let me then say a few things about climate change because clearly, as Commissioner McGuinness has indicated, there are multiple views – it’s the beauty of this Parliament – but I would like to address specifically what we are doing, which in no way undermines the focus, the concern that we have for our primary mandate, which is price stability. I’ll come back to the links between the two. Then I would like to have the benefit of this wonderful tribune to be able to make a few comments on the relationship between fiscal policy and monetary policy and the impact that it can have on inflation and, as a result, the monetary policy decisions that we make.

Allow me to get back to numbers and not use either fantasy numbers or to borrow from outside Europe, and the euro area in particular. Our headline inflation, which includes all components including energy and food was, in January, 8.5% – likely to be revised a little bit upward, as I have indicated, once the German numbers are included by Eurostat. That is way too high. There is no question about that. I think that, if anything, we all agree upon the fact that inflation is way too high, inflation is hurting and inflation is particularly hurting the most exposed, the most vulnerable and the most underprivileged. That is, I think, something that brings us together on this particular issue.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that inflation is not rising at the moment and, if anything, headline inflation is declining. It was at 10.1% in November, 9.2% in December, and it is now probably a little bit north of 8.5%. That is headline inflation. What is, on the other hand, not declining – because it is stable and has remained stable from December to January, having increased a little bit from November and December – is what we call core inflation, which is all components taken into account to measure the increase of prices, except energy and food. That level of inflation is currently 5.2%.

I think it’s particularly notable that we have had an increase in what we call ‘non—energy industrial goods inflation’ – and that goes to the point made by some that inflation is currently essentially attributable to energy. It is not only attributable to energy. Energy played a significant part, is continuing to play its part, and indirect energy costs are also fuelling what I have called the ‘non—energy industrial goods’, as it does with services, which have slightly begun to decline a little bit, moving from 4.4% to 4.2%. But it remains to be seen whether that is going to be continued.

It’s pretty obvious that a further weakening of demand would also contribute to lower price pressures than currently anticipated, especially over the medium term. I know Mr Fernandez had some really interesting, important questions about the actual determination of ‘medium term’. I think that he would understand if I say that when inflation is particularly high and way too high, the medium term is probably a little bit closer than it would be if inflation was at a much more reasonable level. I think I’ll leave it there because the medium term is something that obviously is going to depend on the instrument as well as the distance from which we are to target.

Now what we are seeing in the economy is price pressures that remain strong. But what has changed since our previous monetary policy meeting and the review that we have taken most recently, in February, is that risks to the inflation outlook have become more balanced, especially in the near term. And there are multiple factors for that. It’s the decline of the high energy prices that continue to pass through to the rest of the economy – and we hope that this will move at as fast a path as it has passed through when energy prices were going up, but that remains to be seen. We have not really witnessed that yet. Fiscal energy, compensatory measures, temporarily dampened inflation, but – and I’ll come to that in a second – could also temporarily upward the pressure in the medium term as those measures expire. I’ll come back to that.

The risk of a stronger pass—through of high inflation to wages cannot be ruled out. At this point in time, we are not seeing any obvious sign of an emerging self-sustained wage price spiral but that could obviously happen and would come and fuel inflation. So we are monitoring very carefully these numbers. We are trying to be as detailed and sectorial as possible to really understand where this is heading, but it clearly could have an upward impact. As a result of that situation, as I have indicated, our monetary policy is determined to return inflation to 2% in the medium term, and we will do so and we will take the measures that are required in order to return inflation to 2%. This is the best service that we can provide to the economy so that economic actors understand what is the proposal in terms of prices, investors know under what terms they invest, borrowers know under what expected interest rates they borrow. This is actually the primary objective of the ECB, and we will deliver upon it.

Let me now say just a few words about another topic that has been on the mind of a few – and I will not touch on the special green rates, which is obviously an interesting topic, but not one that I can just address and resolve in this particular moment. What I would like to do is to clarify for you, particularly for those that are concerned about us not focusing our attention on price stability and the fight against inflation. This is our fight, this is our focus, and this is where we spend our energy but, as you know, within our mandate, we have also taken decisive steps to integrate climate change considerations into our monetary policy framework, financial stability monitoring and banking supervision. It is very clear to us that the ECB and any central bank is not in the driving seat for those measures. You are the drivers of this bus. Executive authorities are the drivers of this bus, not the European Central Bank, not any central bank, but as part of our primary mandate, which is price stability, we have to take into account the risks posed by climate change, and under our secondary objectives – as long as it is without prejudice to the primary objective – we should certainly look into what can be achieved in order to respond to what you have determined as critically important economic policies going forward. It is specifically indicated in the Treaty, as far as the secondary mandate of the ECB is concerned.

So what have we done? We have adjusted our monetary policy corporate bond holdings, and since October 2022 we have started to tilt the reinvestment towards issuers with better climate performance. That has led us to a reduction in APP reinvestment flows, and from March onwards the programme that we have to only partially reinvest is going to increase this tilting approach.

By the end of 2024 we will limit the share of assets issued by non-financial companies with a high carbon footprint in the collateral pool that we have. By 2026, we will introduce climate—related disclosure requirements based on the CSRD. That’s on the central banking side of the ECB. If you look at the supervision side of the ECB, we are working – and started the work back in 2020 with the banking sector to alert them to the process that was underway – on climate stress testing to assess the impact of climate risks on the EU economy, credit institutions and the European balance sheets.

Some of you have expressed a concern and would like to continue to be informed of the progress of our Climate Action Plan. So I am committed to continue to inform the European Parliament and the public about the progress that we make, within our mandate, based on the primary objective, based on the secondary objective, to the extent that it does not prejudice the first. We will continue doing that, I am pleased to report that thanks to the energy of all members at the ECB, we are on schedule under the Action Plan and we are delivering like – as some of you said – no other central bank is delivering at the moment.

Now a few final words on the good coordination between fiscal policy and monetary policy. This matters enormously, and as you know we have repeatedly asked that the fiscal measures that have been decided at the national level be targeted, temporary and tailored. You’ve heard those Triple T’s ad nauseum. Why is it? It’s because of the target of fiscal policy, which is precisely to address those that are most exposed, most vulnerable, and that take the hardest hit, particularly as a result of high energy prices. When we say that it should be temporary, it’s in order to align with the variation in the prices of energy. When we say that it should be targeted, it should be directed to those people most exposed. When we say that it should be tailored, it should be tailored in such a way that it actually continues to incentivise people to save energy.

Now, regrettably, of the many measures that have been taken – and this is a result of an exercise that we have conducted for the first time in the summer, but that we will deepen for our March monetary policy meeting – only a very small proportion of the measures that have been decided by fiscal authorities actually satisfy the Triple T criteria. The Bruegel Institute has most recently also issued its assessment, and I think they assessed that only 25% of the measures are targeted, temporary and tailored. This is critically important, because while those measures at the moment are likely to dampen inflation without consideration, unfortunately, for many of them, for those who are most exposed, when they are withdrawn, when they are retired, then of course the retirement of those measures will actually have an inflationary impact on prices and that is likely to take place in 2024 and 2025, which is the medium term that we are concerned about when we determine if and when and how we going to reach target.

So our exhortation to members of government, in the euro area in particular, is to really stick to the temporary, targeted and tailored principles in order to make sure that their policies do not counteract with our monetary policy and does not lead us to having to tighten even more in order to reduce inflation and reach our target. I thank you very much for your attention.

 
  
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  Rasmus Andresen, Berichterstatter. – Frau Präsidentin! Ich glaube, dass die Debatte hier heute einen ganz guten Einblick darin gegeben hat, wie kontrovers auch die Diskussionen waren, die wir zur Formulierung meines Berichts hatten im Kreis der Schattenberichterstatterinnen und Schattenberichterstatter. Ich möchte die Gelegenheit auch noch mal nutzen, mich bei den Schattenberichterstatterinnen und Schattenberichterstattern für ihren Einsatz und für die Kompromissbereitschaft am Schluss zu bedanken, sodass wir hier morgen hoffentlich bei allen kontroversen Themen auch mit einer guten und stabilen Mehrheit über diesen Bericht abstimmen werden.

Ich möchte auf eine Debatte noch einmal ganz besonders eingehen, weil es mir fast noch die stärkere Kontroverse zu sein scheint als die Geldpolitik – und das ist in der Tat die Frage: Wie halten wir es eigentlich mit dem Klimawandel? Und brauchen wir eine grüne Geldpolitik oder halt eben auch nicht?

Ich glaube, wir sind uns hier im Haus alle sehr schnell einig, dass wir besorgt sind über die Inflation, über die Preissteigerungen, die vor allem Menschen mit sehr wenig Einkommen in diesen Wochen sehr, sehr hart in allen Mitgliedstaaten treffen. Aber in der Analyse – was man dagegen tun kann, und was auch aus meiner Sicht offenkundige Zusammenhänge sind zu dem Bereich der Energiepreise, zu dem Bereich der fossilen Abhängigkeit, die viele unserer Mitgliedstaaten nach wie vor von fossiler Energie haben, aber in dem Fall dann auch von russischer fossiler Energie – da scheinen wir etwas auseinander zu liegen.

Und ich bin auch der Präsidentin Lagarde sehr dankbar, dass Sie letztes Jahr auch schon mehrfach deutlich gemacht haben, dass es den Zusammenhang gibt und dass Preisstabilität ohne eine grünere Geldpolitik eigentlich gar nicht mehr möglich ist.

Das, was wir jetzt an fossilen Preisexplosionen sehen, sollte das eigentlich für alle offenkundig machen, aber mir scheint es so zu sein, dass wir über diesen Punkt in den nächsten Wochen und Monaten hier im Parlament noch sehr intensiv diskutieren werden müssen.

Denn es gibt – und da möchte ich Ihnen auch widersprechen, Präsidentin Lagarde – es gibt Zentralbanken, die neben den guten Sachen, die Sie auch schon auf den Weg gebracht haben, noch mehr machen. Die Zentralbank von Japan ist da ein Beispiel, wo ganz gezielt auch mit gründifferenzierten Zinssätzen gearbeitet wird. Und ich glaube, dass wir diesen Weg auch gehen sollten und das in den nächsten Wochen weiterdiskutieren müssen.

Jetzt freue ich mich aber morgen erst mal auf die Abstimmung und möchte Sie alle bitten, dem Bericht am Schluss dann auch zuzustimmen.

 
  
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  Przewodnicząca. – Zamykam debatę.

Głosowanie odbędzie się w czwartek 16 lutego 2023 r.

(Posiedzenie zostało na chwilę zawieszone.)

 
Dernière mise à jour: 21 septembre 2023Avis juridique - Politique de confidentialité