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ECB Staff Unhappy With Christine Lagarde's Leadership, Internal Survey Shows

A survey of European Central Bank (ECB) staff has revealed widespread dissatisfaction with President Christine Lagarde’s leadership. More than half of the respondents rated Lagarde’s performance as “very poor” or “poor.” Some expressed concerns that the former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief “does not necessarily act according to the values she proclaims.”

Lagarde Spends ‘Too Much Time on Topics Unrelated to Monetary Policy’

The International and European Public Services Organisation (IPSO), a union founded by European Central Bank (ECB) staff, conducted a survey among ECB staff asking them to assess the performance of Christine Lagarde as a president of the ECB. The survey was conducted between Dec. 12 and Dec. 22, 2023. Lagarde was France’s finance minister between 2007 and 2011. She then served as the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) between 2011 and 2019.

According to the survey results, released earlier this week, 50.6% of 1,159 respondents rated Lagarde’s performance in the first half of her eight-year term as “very poor” or “poor.” The IPSO also revealed that many respondents expressed dissatisfaction with Lagarde spending “too much time on topics unrelated to monetary policy,” citing her frequent engagement in political discussions.

Moreover, 53.5% disagreed that she was the “right president for the ECB at the current juncture.” Some respondents expressed concern about Lagarde’s potential political aspirations, suggesting she may be using the ECB as a platform for future political endeavors. Only 38% of respondents backed the monetary policy decisions taken under Lagarde. One staff member was quoted as saying:

The ECB has been focusing on topics beyond its mandate in a period where inflation was at the highest level in the EU history.

An ECB spokesperson said the survey was flawed, stating: “The President and the Board are fully focused on their mandate and have implemented policies to respond to unprecedented events in recent years such as the pandemic and wars.”

In its summary of comments for the survey, the IPSO noted:

Christine Lagarde is generally reported as being an autocratic leader who does not necessarily act according to the values she proclaims.

Do you think Christine Lagarde is a good ECB leader? Let us know in the comments section below.

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