The headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) fired Mario Draghi on Monday with a sober and perfectly protocolized act which was attended by Angela Merkel (Germany), Emmanuel Macron (France) and Sergio Mattarela (Italy), the heads of state of the three great powers of the euro (no high government representation of Spain, the fourth). All agreed on the commitment to maintain the legacy of the Italian, to continue advancing in the consolidation of the currency shared by nineteen countries of the community club. And they recognized, without sparing any compliments, their historical contribution: "It has made the euro irreversible, but also the EU project," said the German Chancellor.
An hour and a quarter, five speeches (including that of Draghi himself) and an image for the story: the delivery to Christine Lagarde of the great bell that symbolizes the transfer of powers (which will be effective on Friday, November 1). «I haven't used it in eight years»Draghi told Lagarde at that time, one of the few in which he parked that thoughtful and serious character that characterizes him. The joke had its crumb. She was hinting at the Frenchwoman that she had not needed to call the members of the ECB Executive Council to order during her term. Even though on numerous occasions (and especially in recent months) the divisions between hawks (hard wing) and pigeons (accommodative) have transcended. Lagarde smiled.
In speeches, different tones. Merkel's, the most Spartan. He recalled that when Draghi entered the noble office of the bank in 2011, he initiated a marked mandate «For turbulent times» (the sovereign debt crisis, high unemployment and inflation triggered). He then underlined his contribution "crucial to the stability of the eurozone" in addition to making the ECB "a more independent entity." He also referred to the reinforcement mechanisms that contributed to gestate (the European Stability Mechanism MEDE, the seed towards the banking and monetary union or the euro budget), which discrepancies between the capitals have not yet culminated.
Macron went more to the sensitive fiber. He described his legacy as "enormous." «He has embodied the characteristics of a good public servant»For his« knowledge, courage and humility ». And he shot the emotional character when he referred to his "humanity." Draghi was aware, he extolled, of "the important thing (which is finance) in the lives of citizens. Saving the euro secured the lives of Europeans, ”he said. Mattarela, on the other hand, focused on the "historically high levels" of support he has achieved for the currency among citizens.
And Draghi in his final plea … was Draghi. He insisted before the leaders on the need for a greater fiscal commitment of the States because «sharing the risks helps reduce them. They can be contained with the appropriate design ». «The road to fiscal capacity will probably be long» (The base, he slipped, could be the fight against climate change). But "we need a stronger Europe," he emphasized. Everyone stood up to say goodbye to a banker.
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