The euro is now at a level appropriate to the European economic situation and serves as a lever of sovereignty, European Central Bank Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said Tuesday.
The ECB does not have an exchange rate target, but the euro has adjusted accordingly, Coeure said in a interview to the Le Parisien newspaper. The currency depreciated nearly 30 percent versus the dollar since the last peak of 2011, he noted.
The ultra expansionary monetary policy was necessary to raise inflation and employment in the euro area, the policymaker said.
The single currency is clearly a success in its 25 years of history, Coeure said. The euro is not a loss of sovereignty, it is a lever of sovereignty, he added. The euro has mainly benefited the disadvantaged and the precarious, Coeure said.
Regarding the claim by the Marine Le Pen-led right-wing populist party National Front to exit the euro if they win the election this year, Coeure said that is not want the French want, who unambiguously think that euro is a good thing.
“Getting out of the euro would mean choosing impoverishment,” he added.
He also said that Greece never wanted to exit the euro despite the severe difficulties the country has faced over recent years. The Greeks are not yet out of business, he said with reference to the present bailout crisis.
The euro has a future, but euro area needs to reform, Coeure said.
With a debt ratio close to 100 percent of GDP there was no room for fiscal stimulus in France, the policymaker pointed out.