EAt a ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the European Central Bank, ZB President Christine Lagarde called for the unification process in Europe to be continued. In terms of greater integration, the European Union should also include the fiscal, financial and banking sectors, “especially if the euro is to consolidate its status as an international currency,” said Lagarde on Wednesday evening in Frankfurt, where the central bank is based.
Numerous celebrities attended the birthday party, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (CDU). The former presidents of the ECB, the French Jean-Claude Trichet and the Italian Mario Draghi, also took part in the ceremony, as well as the new Frankfurt Mayor Mike Josef (SPD), Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) and Deutsche Bank boss Christian Sewing and Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel. Council President Charles Michel and EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola were also present as other representatives of the European Union and spoke greetings,
Lagarde wants to lower inflation to 2% in the near future
The ECB began its work in Frankfurt on June 1, 1998, at that time still in the Eurotower on Willy-Brandt-Platz. A year later, the euro age began for eleven participating countries. Today the euro is the means of payment for 346 million people in 20 countries of the European Union.
Lagarde assured that the central bank would fulfill its central task of price stability and bring inflation back to its medium-term two percent target “in the near future”. In an article published in newspapers in all 20 euro countries on Wednesday, Lagarde wrote that inflation is currently “too high and is likely to stay too high for too long”. The ECB has therefore “raised interest rates in record time” and will “raise them to sufficiently restrictive levels and keep them there for as long as necessary”.
The euro as a symbol of stability, sovereignty and solidarity
Lagarde recalled the words of former Chancellor Helmut Kohls (CDU), who was once responsible for bringing the ECB to Frankfurt. Kohl said peace means more than just the absence of war. The history of the euro is about creating the basis for lasting peace. The euro stands as a symbol for European unity in times of crisis and, in addition to stability, also for sovereignty and solidarity in Europe.
Chancellor Scholz said the euro has helped make the European Union tangible and is an anchor of EU stability. Germany is proud to be the home country of the ECB, said Scholz and hon, stressing that the ECB has helped strengthen Frankfurt’s role as the EU’s leading financial center.
At the end of the event, Lagarde, Trichet and Draghi cut a birthday cake.
The celebration of the anniversary of the founding of the ECB comes at a time of high inflation rates in Europe. Because the desired two percent mark has been miles away for months, the monetary authorities have been countering this trend with a series of interest rate hikes since the summer of 2022.
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