News2019.06.07 13:00

ECB's Draghi says Lithuanian central bank chief's independence should be protected

Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, has refrained from commenting on the feud between Lithuanian central bank governor and an MP investigating the role of banks in the 2009 economic crisis, but says that Vitas Vasiliauskas' independence from political interference should be protected.

“I just can't comment about national circumstances of this sort, but I can tell you that governor Vasiliauskas is a very trusted member of the [ECB's] Governing Council,” Draghi said in Vilnius. “And his independence should be carefully protected. And when I say independence, I also mean personal independence.”

Stasys Jakeliūnas, the chair of the parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finance, heads an investigation into the causes of the 2009 economic crisis in Lithuania.

Read more: Lithuanian parliamentary investigation lays blame for 2009 crisis on Scandinavian banks

He has accused Vitas Vasiliauskas, the governor of the Bank of Lithuania, of avoiding to cooperate with the committee.

Vasiliauskas has rejected the accusations, insisting that Jakeliūnas' animosity against him is personal.

Jakeliūnas' party, the Farmers and Greens Union (LVŽS), has attempted to pass a motion of no confidence in Vasiliauskas, but the vote failed.

The ECB held its council meeting in Vilnius this week.

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