ECB faces three suits over stimulus programme in Germany

Three lawsuits have been filed against the European Central Bank's 1.1 trillion-euro (S$1.7 trillion) asset-purchase programme
Three lawsuits have been filed against the European Central Bank's 1.1 trillion-euro (S$1.7 trillion) asset-purchase programme

BERLIN (BLOOMBERG)  - German politicians who failed in previous attempts to have courts derail European Union monetary policy, filed lawsuits at the country's top court challenging the European Central Bank's 1.1 trillion-euro (S$1.7 trillion) asset-purchase programme.

Three suits were filed over the last six months, according to Michael Allmendinger, a spokesman for the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe.

One case, in September, was brought by Bernd Lucke, the head of political party ALFA. Ex- lawmaker Peter Gauweiler said in an e-mailed statement that he also filed a complaint last month.

"With its euphemistic Quantitative Easing policy, the ECB is seeking to inflame inflation by printing huge amounts of money," said Gauweiler, who was behind a case that resulted in a ruling from the EU's top court earlier this year.

"This program is economic policy and first and foremost serves private banks from which the ECB purchases problematic loans. It is turning itself into the bad bank of Europe."

Nine months into the bond-buying program, the main goal of spurring inflation toward the ECB's goal of close to but below 2 per cent remains elusive with price increases still largely absent from the 19-nation euro region.

With the economy at risk of cooling amid weaker growth in China and a slowdown in global trade, ECB President Mario Draghi has held out the prospect of more stimulus next month, when new consumer-price and growth forecasts will be published.

German Finance Ministry spokeswoman Maike Kreutzberg said she can't immediately comment on the lawsuits. The ECB's press office declined to comment.