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Economics Committee chair Gualtieri welcomes ECB decision to buy sovereign bonds


The Governing Council of the ECB met on Thursday 22 January and decided to expand the asset-purchase programme at a EUR 60-billion/month pace until September 2016, including the purchase of sovereign bonds.

Mr Roberto Gualtieri (IT, S&D), chair of Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said:

"I welcome today's decision by the ECB Governing Council. It shows that the ECB takes its mandate to ensure price stability seriously. The scale of the programme confirms that the size of the ECB balance sheet back will go back to 2012 levels. The euro area was in desperate need for a bold decision like the one taken today to ensure price stability and boost the economic recovery. It is also important to note that the ECB links the duration of the programme to medium-term inflation expectations, which is a clear indication that the ECB action is indeed decisive and may go beyond the initial time-frame."

"I am confident that the programme will also have a portfolio rebalancing effect allowing banks to lend more to the real economy and a positive effect as regards the exchange rate. Finally, in the unlikely event of financial instability, the ECB President confirmed that the OMT programme is ready to be used under full risk sharing."

"Now that the ECB has delivered, others -EU institutions and Member States- must be part of the joint effort towards growth and jobs. Monetary policy is not sufficient. An ambitious EU investment, growth and reform agenda must be pushed through."