March 26, 2018 / 10:09 AM / a year ago

Germany's Weidmann says diversity of views is strength for ECB

German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann speaks at an Austrian National Bank event in Vienna, Austria, March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s likely candidate to become the European Central Bank’s next president defended on Monday policy differences among rate-setters as he reaffirmed his expectation for a rate hike next year.

Jens Weidmann, who is viewed by some euro zone countries as too conservative due to his criticism of the ECB’s ultra-easy monetary policy under Mario Draghi, praised the “diversity of views” on the Governing Council.

“I think diversity of views is a strength,” he told an event in Vienna. “So long as we agree on the goal, it surely can’t be a bad thing to discuss the right way to get there.”

In a largely political speech, Weidmann repeated his opposition to more money sharing in the euro zone to guarantee bank deposits or to help struggling governments until banks clean up their balance sheets and more sovereignty is also shared.

He also reiterated his view that market expectations of a rate hike towards the middle of next year were “not completely unrealistic”.

Reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Gareth Jones; Editing by Gareth Jones

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