Draghi Denies ‘Disastrous’ Effect of ECB Policy on Economy

(Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has offered a not-so-subtle comeback to a politician who described the effects of his policies as “disastrous.”

“Our policy had disastrous consequences? Yes, it created 9.5 million jobs in a few years,” Draghi told the European Parliament on Monday, in response to the comment by Belgian member Gerolf Annemans. “The recovery of the euro zone owes much to the monetary policy of the ECB.”

Annemans, a member of Belgium’s right-wing Vlaams Belang party, said he thought the ECB’s policies were artificially supporting certain sectors, leading to “significant issues” in farming and real estate. He also accused the central bank of ending net asset purchases in a very sudden way.

“In designing monetary policy for whole euro area, when you say the whole, it means all countries without distinction and all sectors,” Draghi responded. “It’s not monetary policy that’s targeted to a specific sector, where you keep rates low or high for a certain sector -- that’s the Soviet Union, it’s not a normal free market economy.”

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