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Draghi defends ECB stimulus programme

Draghi defends ECB stimulus programme
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The ECB’s debt buying programme remains on the right track, according to the European Central Bank President.

Speaking to European lawmakers in Brussels, Mario Draghi said the ECB’s deployment of monetary stimulus policies is accelerating the transmission of lower interest rates.

“The pace of purchases so far puts the overall programme on track to reach a total of 60 bn euros in March. At this point in time we see no sign that there will not be enough bonds for us to purchase,” said Draghi.

But Draghi had short shrift for one question from a left wing Portuguese MEP regarding the ECB’s treatment of Greece’s financial difficulties.

“Are we blackmailing Greece? Well it’s a bit rich (to say so) when you look at the exposure that we have with Greece. ECB has 104 bn euros of exposure to Greece,” said Draghi. “This is equal to 65% of Greek GDP. It’s the highest exposure in the Eurozone. What sort of blackmail is this? Is up to you to judge!” he added.

Draghi has previously said he is ready to start accepting Greek bonds again as collateral for lending to Greek banks as soon as conditions are in place for a successful review of the bailout programme.

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