How to you set about reforming the role of the European Central Bank? Wear a t-shirt with a logo and throw some paper in the air. That was the tactic of one protester in Frankfurt, Germany on Wednesday, who interrupted ECB president Mario Draghi during a monetary policy meeting. The protester reportedly threw glitter on a bemused Draghi and yelled "End ECB dictatorship!"
The European Central Bank, pushed to the fore of the political debate during the debt crisis, is a controversial entity, its primary function being to preserve the euro at any cost. It’s a role the body assumed after myriad national governments refused to foist unpalatable solutions on their citizenry following the 2008 downturn.
It operates in a legal grey area, often funding bailouts and pushing through financial assistant regardless of EU rules. Most controversially, it presides over essential funding to Greek banks (without which the Greek banking system would collapse), providing assistance on the condition that the Athens government complies with a draconian austerity programme.
These are difficult problems. Still, the Greek people can sleep easy in their beds tonight knowing that Draghi will be washing glitter out of his hair.