Jens Weidmann has decided to step down after a decade as head of Germany’s central bank in a move that comes weeks after the country’s general election and shortly before a crucial decision on the future of eurozone monetary policy.

Since he joined the Bundesbank, Weidmann has been one of the most vocal critics of the ultra-loose monetary policy pursued by the European Central Bank, where he fought an often lonely battle against its bond-buying and negative interest rate policies.

Weidmann told Bundesbank employees that he had decided to step down at the end of the year, adding: “I have come to believe that more than 10 years is a good time to start a new chapter — for the Bundesbank, but also for me personally.”

The move, less than two years after Weidmann’s mandate was extended for another eight-year team, comes as three German political parties are locked in negotiations to form the country’s government.