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ECB is not violating laws on monetary policy: Schaeuble

Reuters

BERLIN (Reuters) - Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Tuesday he did not share the view of Germany's constitutional court that the European Central Bank may be violating laws on monetary financing with its 2.3 trillion euro asset purchase program.

"I don't share this opinion," Schaeuble said during a business dinner hosted by the Handelsblatt business newspaper. "I believe that the (ECB) mandate is being implemented," he added in a rare defense of the central bank.

He said that the ECB was exhausting the tools at its disposal to "fulfill its hellishly difficult task of devising a monetary policy for many different countries."

He said it was not helpful to the discussion about the independence of ECB monetary policy to mention Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann as a possible successor to ECB chief Mario Draghi.

The Germany's highest court on Tuesday said the European Central Bank may be violating a ban on financing governments in its 2.3 trillion euro ($2.7 trillion) asset purchase program and asked Europe's highest court to rule on the matter.

(Reporting by Joseph Nasr and Gernot Heller; Editing by Andrea Shalal)