Euro banker leaves door open for even more bond purchases

City A.M. Reporter
THE European Central Bank still has its bond-buying programme as an option to ease pressure on faltering euro member states, ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure said yesterday.

Coeure, the ECB board member in charge of market operations, said the central bank still had the Securities Market Programme in place allowing it to purchase debt of Eurozone nations, should the need arise.

“Will the ECB intervene? We have an instrument for intervention, the SMP, which has not been used recently but which exists,” he told a conference.

He also said the scale of market pressure on Spain is not justified given the reforms underway.

Any reactivation of the bond-buying programme would meet strong resistance from the Bundesbank and other ECB policymakers from the Eurozone’s healthier core economies.

Another ECB executive board member, Germany’s Joerg Asmussen, reiterated that the onus was now on governments and not the central bank to act.

“The ECB has done its part,” Asmussen told the Italian press.