ECB's Weidmann: EU executive should hand over budget surveillance role

November 25, 2016 2:30 AM EST

President of the Deutsche Bundesbank Jens Weidmann looks on during a meeting in Rome, Italy, April 26, 2016. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File Photo

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BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Commission should be relieved of its budget surveillance role as it is too political, European Central Bank policymaker Jens Weidmann told German business daily Handelsblatt.

"I do not believe that a Commission which interprets its mandate as politically as the current one is best suited to ensure budget surveillance in Europe," Weidmann, who also heads Germany's Bundesbank, said in the interview published on Friday.

"(German Finance Minister) Wolfgang Schaeuble and myself are both convinced that this task should best be shifted to an independent institution which is not subject to any obvious conflict of interests," he added.

Weidmann said he did not think the ECB should be given the budget surveillance role. Schaeuble has previously suggested the European Stability Mechanism rescue fund could take it on.

(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Caroline Copley)

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