Bundesbank chief pulls out of second briefing with Schaeuble


Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, who has been at odds with the German government over its support of ECB bond-buying, pulled out of a news conference with Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Friday for the second time in less than a month.

Weidmann announced he was leaving the International Monetary Fund and World Bank bi-annual meetings, taking place in Japan, ahead of schedule. "I have to leave earlier due to a family matter that can't be postponed," he said.

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In mid-September, Weidmann did not attend a traditional dual news conference with Schaeuble after an informal meeting of European finance ministers in Cyprus. The German Finance Ministry said at the time that Weidmann had not wanted to miss his flight back to Frankfurt.

The Bundesbank declined to comment beyond what Weidmann said in Tokyo.

Schaeuble and Weidmann have disagreed publicly about the European Central Bank's plans, unveiled by ECB President Mario Draghi early last month, to buy an unlimited amount of debt of struggling euro zone states, in exchange for reform commitments, to reduce their borrowing costs.

In a newspaper interview in September, Schaeuble said the German public was being unsettled by the public nature of the debate on the ECB's bond-buying plan, in what was widely seen as a rebuke of Weidmann.

(Reporting by Gernot Heller, additional reporting by Andreas Framke in Frankfurt; Writing by Annika Breidthardt; Editing by Pravin Char)