Ufff! The euro is saved. And together with euro, we, debt-ridden European Southerners, are save too. Head of European Central Bank, Mario Draghi announced on Thursday, that the ECD will buy bonds of countries in debt crisis until they recover. Draghi’s decision comes despite Germany’s objections fearing that member states could become hooked on central bank aid and fail to reform their economies sufficiently.
ECB’s Mario Draghi unveils bond-buying euro debt plan
Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, has unveiled details of a new bond-buying plan aimed at easing the eurozone’s debt crisis.
He said the scheme would provide a “fully effective backstop” and that the euro was “irreversible”.
The ECB aims to cut the borrowing costs of debt-burdened eurozone members by buying their bonds.
Ahead of the announcement, the central bank kept the benchmark eurozone interest rate unchanged at 0.75%.
Mr Draghi said the ECB would engage in outright monetary transactions, or OMTs, to address “severe distortions” in government bond markets based on “unfounded fears”.
He insisted that the ECB was “strictly within our mandate” of maintaining financial stability, but reiterated the need for governments to continue with their deficit reduction plans and labour market reforms.
He added that the ECB’s actions come in response to eurozone economic contraction in 2012, with continued weakness likely to continue into 2013.
The ECB expects the eurozone economy to shrink by 0.4% in 2012 and grow by 0.5% in 2013, with inflation rising to 2.6%.
OMTs will only be carried out in conjunction with European Financial Stability Facility or European Stability Mechanism programmes, he said.
In other words, countries will still have to request a bailout before the OMTs are triggered.
The maturities of the bonds being purchased would be between one and three years and there would be no limits on the size of bond purchases, he added.
The ECB will ask the International Monetary Fund to help it monitor country compliance with its conditions. (Full article BBC)
PS Next step is, the ECB should/would start printing its own money, in times of need and despair.