Christine Lagarde officially took charge of the European Central Bank presidency on Friday, succeeding Italian Mario Draghi, the monetary body announced.
Lagarde, the first woman to become president of the body since its launch in 1998, has experienced a career progression marked by the crises she lived through as head of the French ministry of economic affairs (2007-2011), and then as head of the International Monetary Fund from 2011 until 2019.
She assumes the role at a time when the ECB is starting a new and controversial so-called market debt buyback programme, approved in September by a governing council that is very divided on the issue.
Each month, the ECB will buy back 20 billion euro of public and private bonds to support a lacklustre European economy and balance the inflation back to a 2 percentage point.
The ECB will be closed for this Friday’s Halloween bank holiday, but demonstrators have planned to meet in front of the entrance of the steel and glass tower at 1 pm, in answer to a call from the ‘Attac’ movement, in order to demand that it’s monetary policy is geared towards a more environmental and social direction. They are also joined by “Friday for future” climate demonstrators.
The new ECB boss on Wednesday delivered a strong message on RTL to Germany and other countries running budget surpluses that she considers “have not really made the necessary efforts” to consolidate a period of low growth, whereas the central banks “have done their job.”