Frankfurt am Main, Oct 24 (AFP/APP): Outgoing ECB chief Mario Draghi, credited with saving the euro at the height of the eurozone debt crisis, on Thursday summed up his legacy as “never give up”.
The Italian economist said he was “proud” that the European Central Bank had stayed true to its mandate during his eight-year tenure, which saw him unleash unprecedented stimulus measures. “In a sense, this is a part of our legacy: never give up,” Draghi said at his final press conference in Frankfurt.
The 72-year-old bows out leaving the bank’s governing council deeply divided over his decision in September to restart asset purchases to the tune of 20 billion euros ($22.4 billion) a month in response to a slowing eurozone economy.
Draghi rebuffed suggestions that the rift had cast a cloud over his departure, saying it was not the first time disagreements had divided the 25 council members. “I’ve taken this as part and parcel of the ongoing debate and discussion,” he told reporters.
He also looked back at his legendary words in 2012 that the ECB would do “whatever it takes” to rescue the euro when a spiralling debt crisis shook the single currency bloc to its core. Today everyone would agree that “the euro is irreversible,” Draghi said.
Asked what he personally took away from his stint at the helm of the ECB, Draghi said he had attempted to be “not boring”. “Certainly this experience has been very intense, profound and fascinating, I take this with me,” he said.
As to what he would do next with all his free time, Draghi stayed coy. “Ask my wife, she knows better I think.”