Lagarde assumes ECB presidency, to take policymakers out of ivory tower

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European Central Bank’s vice president Luis de Guidos said incoming president Christine Lagarde will ensure ECB policymakers climb down from their “ivory tower” to face political realities of the euro zone.

Following Mario Draghi’s retirement, Christine Lagarde will start her stint as ECB president on Nov. 1.

“Central bankers have sometimes been working in an ivory tower,” de Guinos said.

“Christine Lagarde – not to mention myself – is well versed in the euro zone’s mechanisms. The ECB’s decision-makers need to understand the context, make sound choices from among the alternatives and communicate properly,” he added.

The ECB continues to struggle to get eurozone governments that run budget surpluses to loosen their monetary strings.

De Guinos, however, noted that easing on policies was becoming more apparent as inflation was held below the ECB’s target of just under 2%.

“Inflation has indeed been below the objective for some time, but behind this, there are structural changes for which we don’t yet have a full explanation,” he said.

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