Jens Weidmann isn’t known for being in agreement with his colleagues at the European Central Bank. Often the lone voice of opposition, the head of Germany’s Bundesbank regularly takes his case to the public through the media, slamming policies like the ECB’s massive bond-buying program.
Mr. Weidmann’s positions often made him the target of criticism in France, which supports a more liberal monetary policy to shore up heavily indebted southern European nations. When the German central banker arrives in Paris on Tuesday for the Franco-German economic and financial council, however, he can expect an unusually warm welcome.
That’s because, for once, Mr. Weidmann is publicly supporting more European intervention and not less. In an editorial in the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung on Monday, he joined forces with his French counterpart Villeroy de Galhau to make the case for a European finance ministry.
According to the two central bankers, the euro zone is at a cross roads, facing a stark choice. The currency union can either give the 19 member states greater control over monetary policy, while demanding they adhere to strict rules, or it can push ahead with greater integration and centralization.