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Germany and the European Central Bank Face Off

Apr 20, 2016 | 09:15 GMT
The main building of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. The bank's monetary policy has been good for Southern Europe but not for the European Union's largest member, Germany.
The main building of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. The bank's monetary policy has been good for Southern Europe but not for the European Union's largest member, Germany.
(DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Northern European countries such as Germany have historically preferred tighter monetary policy to control inflation. Southern European countries such as Italy, by contrast, are more accustomed to a looser monetary policy and to the economic stimulation that follows. Their disagreement has snowballed since the beginning of the global financial crisis, and the ECB, which governs monetary policy, is stuck in the middle. Since 2014, the south has largely had the advantage in this dispute, creating problems for Germany and friction between it and the ECB that is likely to only worsen in the coming year....

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