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Security officers detain a protester who jumped on the table in front of the European Central Bank President Mario Draghi during a news conference in Frankfurt, April 15, 2015. The news conference was disrupted on Wednesday when a woman in a black T-shirt jumped on the podium. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach
Spotlight stealer.

Video: Mario Draghi’s ECB press conference is disrupted by an anti-austerity protestor

By Matt Phillips

We’ve been hearing a lot about drones and disruption lately. But this is ridiculous.

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi’s usually droning monetary policy press conference was disrupted by a colorful protestor today. The woman jumped onto Draghi’s desk, flung what appeared to be papers and confetti, and chanted ”end ECB dictatorship” before being carried off by security personnel. The slogan on her shirt read, “END THE ECB DICK-TATORSHIP”. (She is reportedly a member of the “Femen” feminist protest group )

No one was hurt in the incident, and after a brief break Draghi continued like nothing happened. Still, the brief demonstration underscores an uncomfortable tension in the euro zone.

The ECB’s last press conference, held in Cyprus in March, was also briefly disrupted, albeit less spectacularly. A journalist in the press pack went on an off-mic rant, accusing the president of bias against the local media. Also last month, the “Blockupy” movement, an alliance of left-wing groups opposed to “the European crisis regime” in general and the ECB in particular, disrupted the unveiling of the ECB’s new headquarters in Frankfurt, setting fire to cars and clashing with police.

Throughout the euro crisis economic policymakers such as the ECB and IMF have increasingly used their financial clout to dictate policy to the indebted countries relying on them for financial assistance. This is a real problem, and not just for the confetti-flinging fringe.

Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach
Not a bad leap.
Reuters/Ralph Orlowski
It was a relatively lively press conference.
Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach
A bit of paperwork.