As the Euro area lurches from crisis to crisis with many member states suffering with potentially unsustainable debt burdens and questions being raised about the future of the common currency, it is good to know the ECB still has its eyes firmly fixed on the real economic danger: Inflation possibly going above two percent. In case anyone had doubted their dedication to this righteous cause, M. Trichet reassured us on Thursday:
Lastly, we will continue to be permanently alert, and to be sure that we have the right monetary policy stance. Our credibility rests on the fact that we deliver price stability, in line with our mandate. It is the Treaty mandate. We delivered 1.97% yearly inflation over the first twelve years of the single currency. You will tell me that I repeat that, but I think it is very important. By the way, I said this to the Members of the European Parliament in Brussels two days ago, and I could see the extent to which, as representatives of the European people, they appreciate the fact that we delivered our primary mandate over the first twelve years. We even had applause. I was quite moved.