Praet indicates unease at role in Troika

The European Central Bank isn΄t at ease in its role in the troika of inspectors that oversees the Greek bailout program, a top policy maker at the central bank says in a newspaper interview.

“The ECB was led into taking a role that put strong pressure on the institution,” executive board member Peter Praet says in the interview in French daily Les Echos on Thursday. “It is a question of responding to a shortfall as Europe doesn΄t have the right institutions. But that doesn΄t mean we are satisfied with the current situation,” he adds.

Greece has said it will no longer talk to the troika of inspectors from the ECB, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund as the country tries to renegotiate its bailout program.

In the interview with Les Echos–which was published after the decision of the ECB to no longer accept Greek government bonds as collateral for providing liquidity to banks–Mr. Praet says the central bank is not involved in negotiations with Greece and is simply sticking to its mandate.

“The ECB position is clear: the treaty forbids us from taking any decision that would amount to financing a state via monetary policy,” Mr. Praet says.

Mr. Praet also says in the interview that it may take a little time for the ECB΄s quantitative easing program to bring inflation back towards the central bank΄s target.

“It΄s not an exact science, but the context should be favorable and, even if I am cautious, I am confident,” Mr. Praet says.

He also says the bank could go further if necessary, but didn΄t give any details.