ECB, autonomy must be defended but the central bank can be wrong

The clash serves no one, the choices can be discussed in respect of the roles

When politics goes against economic institutions, the problem is always partisan interests. In the case of the Italian government and the ECB, interests are different, because economic and monetary policy can have needs that do not coincide. But in the end the different interests must converge, because the ECB has an interest in Italy not creating problems for the stability of the Euro area and because Italy has an interest in the ECB offering the umbrella it needs to have a serene relationship with the markets.

However, two firm points are needed. The autonomy of the central bank it must remain a dogma, and there must be no interference in the exercise of its mandate. However, this does not mean that the ECB cannot make mistakes, that it is infallible, and that it is not possible to maintain that monetary policy should have greater regard for the overall needs of the European economy.

The subtle balance that must hold together respect for autonomy and the right to express doubts about one choice rather than another is held with respect for one’s roles and, above all, with respect for the rules that are written in the Treaties, which clearly describe the mandate, powers and tools of the central bank, also in relation to the relationship with the individual member states.

The system holds up if everyone does their part and if the dialogue works. The ECB exercises its powers and uses the tools at its disposal in the exercise of its mandate. You use your recommendations and help monitor the functioning of the system. The government makes its economic policy, bearing in mind that market trends are also profoundly influenced by the reputation and confidence of investors. Both parties can do their job well or badly. Monetary policy can be effective, and capable of keeping the reduction of inflation together with the support of growth, or it can make choices and communication wrong, as has happened several times in the management of Christine Lagarde. Economic policy can use the room for maneuver that exists, or close in defense and favor a confrontation that serves no one. (Of Fabio Insenga)