German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann. Photo: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

Jens Weidmann, Germany’s representative on the European Central Bank Governing Council, highlighted the question of when the ECB will begin to ease their massive stimulus program on Monday.

“Given the dampened price pressure, an expansive monetary policy is still appropriate in principle,… but as a result of the economic recovery and a predicted inflation rate of almost 2 percent in 2019, it is quite legitimate to ask when the Governing Council should consider monetary policy normalization”, Weidmann said.

The comments came ahead of the ECB Governing Council policy meeting next Thursday.

Weidmann, who has been highly critical of current ECB chief Mario Draghi, could see his influence in the bank grow in the coming years. Word has spread that Angela Merkel is hoping to move a German in to the top spot at the ECB in 2019, and, as head of Bundesbank, Weidmann would be well positioned to be her man for the job.