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ECB says German court ruling will not stop its bond-buying campaign

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The headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo: REUTERS

The headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo: REUTERS

REUTERS

The headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo: REUTERS

The European Central Bank yesterday pushed back at a German court's attempt to curb its power to buy government bonds, saying it was "more determined than ever" to pull the eurozone out of its worst economic crisis in nearly a century.

Germany's Constitutional Court ruled this week the ECB had overstepped its mandate with trillions of euros' worth of bond purchases, and said the Bundesbank must quit the scheme within three months unless the ECB can prove its necessity.

But ECB president Christine Lagarde said it was "undeterred" by the ruling and would do whatever was necessary to achieve its mandated goal, which is to bring inflation back to an elusive target just under 2pc.

"We are an independent institution, accountable to the European Parliament, driven by mandate," Lagarde said. "We'll continue to do whatever is needed... to deliver on that mandate. Undeterred, we will continue doing so."

The ECB is on track to buy some €1.1trn worth of bonds this year, taking its stock to nearly €4trn to help governments, households and companies struggling with the pandemic.

Speaking to the European Parliament, ECB vice-president Luis de Guindos said the central bank was prepared to do even more.

"We remain more determined than ever to ensure supportive financial conditions across all sectors and countries to allow this unprecedented shock to be absorbed," he said.

"We continue to stand ready to make further adjustments to our monetary policy measures should we see the scale of the stimulus is falling short of what is needed."

De Guindos rejected the claim ECB decisions were disproportionate, arguing that a risk assessment forms the basis of every decision and proportionality is studied extensively.

Reuters

Irish Independent