The head of the European Central Bank says the continent does not need to spend more to combat recession, heightening the standoff between Washington and European governments over response to the financial crisis. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Jean-Claude Trichet said governments should concentrate on executing measures they’ve already introduced—referring to delays in the US rescue of troubled banks.
“Quick implementation, quick disbursement is what is needed,” said Trichet, who has at other times fiercely criticized European governments for their fiscal policies. Trichet said he would not join the Federal Reserve in buying government debt to free up credit, and defended the relatively high eurozone interest rates—1.5%, while the Fed has rates at virtually zero. “It is not a race,” Trichet said.