BERLIN (Reuters) - European Central Bank Governing Council member Francois Villeroy de Galhau defended the bank's monetary policy measures in a speech to Germany's lower house of parliament published on Thursday, saying they were necessary to heed off the risk of deflation.

"As long as inflation is too low, as is the case today, we need to take action. If we didn't act we wouldn't fulfill our mandate and the deflation risk for Europe and Germany would grow," he said, according to the text of a closed-door speech he gave to the German parliament on Wednesday.

In recent weeks the ECB has been subject to criticism from some German politicians for its ultra-low interest rates.

(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Caroline Copley)