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Business

ECB Under Fire Again From Germany

The German government, facing a possible humiliating defeat in regional elections this weekend, launched a fresh attack against the European Central Bank on Friday, saying that high interest rates were central to Germany's economic woes. "We in Germany are effectively making a sacrifice to (price) stability," the ECB's overriding goal, Economics Minister Wolfgang Clement told the German news agency DPA in an interview. "And that in a period when growth is already insufficient." Germany, the euro zone's biggest economy, was "in a special situation where prices were exceptionally stable prices, but growth was still insufficient," Clement said. "In my view that is a reason (for the ECB) to look at the situation very closely. I note that monetary policy in other regions around the world plays a much more active role (in boosting growth) than it does in Europe and in Germany." It is not the first time that Clement has targeted veiled criticism at the ECB's current monetary policy stance. At the end of last month, he said that the ECB had room for maneuver on rates to react to the current economic weakness in Germany.

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