Belgium's ECB member: Italy, Spain debt buy-back possible

5th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

European Central Bank governor, Luc Coene of Belgium, on Tuesday said a buy-back of Italian and Spanish debt was possible on condition Rome and Madrid pressed ahead with economic reform.

"We already did that in the case of Greece, I don't see why there'd be a veto against that possibility" by the ECB board of governors, the head of Belgium's national bank said on RTBF 1 radio.

"The ECB is ready to make an important effort but countries first make take measures or this would have no effect," he added.

Coene was replying to questions on whether the ECB would buy Italian or Spanish bonds to ease tension on the financial markets and reduce contagion in Europe's sovereign debt crisis.

At a press conference Thursday, ECB chief Jean-Claude Trichet said the central bank would resume such bond purchases after a more than 18-week suspension but warned governments to "stay ahead of the curve."

© 2011 AFP

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