ECB President Christine Lagarde presented with Estonian handcrafted scarf

ECB President Christine Lagarde and the hand-crafted scarf gifted her on her official visit to Estonia, Friday, November 4 2022.
ECB President Christine Lagarde and the hand-crafted scarf gifted her on her official visit to Estonia, Friday, November 4 2022. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Christine Lagarde donned a specially-handcrafted Estonian scarf made for her by a local craftswoman, during her interview with ERR.

Aasa Jõelaid, who made the scarf and has created more than 120 scarf patterns over a career of several decade making hand-crafted items, said that she had made the offering: "Since it is now autumn, I created some leaves and puddles of water [in the design], but if you look at it closely, it gives the impression that there are also hearts inside."

"I just get an idea and then it evolves on from there. Then I put it on paper to see if it really does look beautiful. I then start to knit, but it is often the case you have to make corrections to how it turns out when actually knitting," she went on.

The scarf presented to Lagarde Friday is not the first which Jõelaid has created for visiting dignitaries; the Queen Silvia of Sweden and Estonia's olympic gold-winning women's epee team have also been recipients, and the designs have also found their way on to many book covers and gift cards.

ECB President Lagarde spoke on eurozone monetary policy at the Bank of Estonia, met Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Finance Minister Annely Akkermann, and many entrepreneurs and leading figures from the startup scene, particularly from Estonia's famed tech sector.

Lagarde called for an end to the raging inflation which has plagued Europe for months – in Estonia rates have been as high as 25 percent – and noted that the ECB is to raise the base rate to 2 percent to combat this, with likely further hikes until the overall rate of inflation stands at 2 percent across the zone.

"We have to use the tools that are most useful and at the current juncture it is interest rates that are the most important too to use and the most efficient tool to use in order to bring inflation down. It will take a bit of time," Lagarde told ERR's Johannes Tralla, in an interview which can be viewed here.

Lagarde also visited Latvia this week and gave an interview in English to public broadcaster LSM.

Christine Lagarde became ECB president in 2019, after heading up the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2011 to 2019. She was minister of the economy, finance and industry in her native France from 2007 to 2011, and is the first woman to have been appointed to all of those posts.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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