ECB ready to wait for bailout requests

The European Central Bank has confirmed that it is ready to buy bonds of debt-strained governments, but requires those in need to sign up to a European bailout programme with strict conditions.

To date no request has been made and ECB President Mario Draghi it is not the banks decision.

“It is entirely up to Italy and the Spain and the Spanish government to take this decision. It is not up to the ECB. As I said and the ECB has said many, many times, the ECB has produced the OMT. The OMT is a truly effective back-stop mechanism.”

With Spain selling of billions of euros of debt and the Greek government voting to back more austerity measures in order to qualify for more help, it has been a relatively good Friday for the ECB.

Draghi expressed his satisfaction at the outcome of the vote in Athens, despite huge protests and political dog fights:

“The ECB and the Governing Council certainly welcome the outcome of the vote yesterday. It’s a very important step that the Greek government and the Greek citizens have undertaken,” he said..

The bank decided to hold the main euro zone interest rate at 0.75 per cent, deferring any cuts in borrowing costs for hard up states.

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