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Trichet: ECB no substitute for sound fiscal policy

Trichet: ECB no substitute for sound fiscal policy (by William L. Watts)

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Euro-zone governments can't look to the European Central Bank to make up for their own fiscal-policy shortcomings, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said in a speech delivered Friday. While the central bank has undertaken aggressive measures to provide liquidity to the financial system and ensure the functioning of credit markets, the financial crisis has not changed the ECB's strategy or objective, Trichet told a conference organized by Germany's conservative CSU party. "Monetary-policy responsibility cannot substitute for government irresponsibility," Trichet said. European governments must move to "substantially reinforce" the stability and growth pact that sets budget rules for the euro zone, he said, and repeated a call for a "quantum leap" in economic governance.