Brussels (Brussels Morning) The ECB counts on citizens to respond to its policies by investing and spending more, which should restart inflation. The Bank has maintained its negative main interest rate for six years, stressing that its policies have created millions of jobs and mitigated the negative effects of the coronavirus crisis.
However, respondents are not impressed. While some 10% of those surveyed noted the ECB’s policies had positively affected them, more than 50% said the opposite was the case, claiming the policies impacted them negatively.
About 45% of respondents expressed concern over their purchasing power, their anxiety about high inflation outweighing fears of deflation.
One respondent noted that low interest rates “force me to invest in a riskier way than would be responsible at this stage in my life”. Another pointed out that ECB’s “monetary policy created a real estate bubble and kept zombie enterprises and banks alive.”
A third warned that asset prices had risen because of the ECB, which is “filling the pockets of those who already have financial wealth.”
The ECB has been brushing aside such criticism for years, frequently downplaying the severity of the impact of its policies and denying that it was keeping non-viable businesses afloat.
Among the 10% or so of respondents who viewed ECB’s policies in a positive light, some complained that they cannot reap the benefits of the Bank’s moves. “EU monetary policies allow young people like me to be very proactive in entrepreneurship, however local policies hinder this with extremely high taxes and a lack of supportive policies,” one warned.
Total inflation in the eurozone has not reached the ECB’s near 2% ceiling for the best part of a decade.