ECB boss Lagarde: Find out what unites us
Photo: Geert Vanden Wijngaert / dpa
The President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, has spoken out in favor of depicting famous Europeans on euro notes in the future.
"Personally, I can very well imagine showing the faces of famous Europeans on the banknotes: Leonardo da Vinci, Ludwig van Beethoven or James Joyce," Lagarde told the newspapers of the editorial network Germany.
"I myself have fond memories of the five-franc note with Victor Hugo that appeared in France 50 years ago," she added.
Currently, the euro bills show fictitious buildings.
»20 years after the introduction of the euro, it is time to ask ourselves whether there is something that Europeans can identify with even more.
Something that we all perceive as typically European and that connects us,” she emphasized.
A famous picture or a monument is also possible.
She rejected a different design depending on the country of issue, as with the coins.
The goal is to show unity.
“It would be a mistake if we started making distinctions by country again now.
We should find out what unites and connects us - not what divides us.«
The ECB plans to redesign the banknotes by 2024. Citizens should be involved in the process.
Although the ECB has been working on launching a digital euro for some time, Lagarde reiterated that there is no intention of getting rid of cash.
"I love having bills in my wallet," she said.
"And now it even has my own signature on it."
When asked about rate hikes to combat high inflation, Lagarde again asked for patience.
She compared interest rate policy with driving a car.
“Nobody does that in fifth gear at full speed, you just let off the gas and downshift gradually.
That's exactly what we're doing right now.
And as soon as the pace is right and the situation allows, we'll take the curve.«
However, Lagarde does not expect any further surge in inflation due to the forthcoming wage rounds.
"First of all, I think it's understandable and legitimate for union leaders to demand higher wages in this situation in order to preserve workers' purchasing power," she said.
"But she doesn't see it at all at the moment" that wage agreements accelerate the inflation process.
On the contrary: "In most euro countries, including Germany, wage demands are extremely moderate."