Correspondent, Brussels
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Jan 21, 2015

ECB Executive Board proposes 50 billion euros in monthly bond buys: source

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank’s Executive Board has proposed a program that would see the ECB buy 50 billion euros ($58 billion) in bonds per month starting in March, a euro zone source said on Wednesday.

Reuters could not confirm reports from other media about the duration of the proposed program. The Wall Street Journal said it would last at least one year. News agency Bloomberg said the purchases would run to the end of 2016.

Jan 20, 2015

Demand for home loans jumps in euro zone

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – One in four banks across the euro zone saw a rise in home loan demand toward the end of last year and almost as many expect the trend to continue, a survey by the European Central Bank showed on Tuesday.

As consumers bet on rising house prices and banks loosen lending standards, demand for home loans has shot up, the study found, a trend that will fuel concerns in Germany and elsewhere that cheap money could be blowing up a property bubble.

Jan 19, 2015

Merkel: ECB action no substitute for economic reform

ESCHBORN, Germany, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Germany’s chancellor
made a rare public intervention in the debate about money
printing by the European Central Bank on Monday, warning it was
no substitute for economic reforms in the euro zone.

Speaking to an audience near Frankfurt that included ECB
President Mario Draghi, Merkel said any move by the ECB to buy
government bonds with new money should not be used as an excuse
to put such reforms on the back burner.

Jan 14, 2015

EU court adviser sees no major hurdles to ECB bond-buying

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – A European Central Bank bond-buying plan floated in 2012 would not break EU law subject to certain conditions, a top adviser to the European Union’s highest court said on Wednesday.

Pedro Cruz Villalon, advocate general at the court, said while the ECB was entitled to buy bonds and that the scheme outlined was “necessary” and “proportionate”, it would first have to spell out its justification and remove itself from any direct aid programme to a euro zone member state.

Jan 13, 2015

ECB bond-buying gets legal test at European court

LUXEMBOURG, Jan 14 (Reuters) – An adviser to Europe’s top
court will deliver an opinion on Wednesday that could either
ease or complicate European Central Bank plans for printing
money to boost the struggling euro zone economy.

Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalon will respond to a
challenge to the legality of an earlier, unused bond-buying
scheme that a group of Germans, from politicians to academics,
have questioned.

Jan 11, 2015

Legal challenge shows rocky path to ECB money-printing

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A landmark legal opinion this week will remind the European Central Bank of the limits it faces as it advances towards money printing, while a tumbling oil price saps inflation in debt-strained Europe.

With expectations high that the ECB is on the verge of buying government bonds with new money to shore up the economy, an influential adviser to Europe’s top court will give his view on Jan. 14 about an earlier unused bond-buying scheme.

Dec 19, 2014

ECB considers making weaker euro zone states bear more QE risk -sources

FRANKFURT, Dec 19 (Reuters) – European Central Bank
officials are considering ways to ensure weak countries that
stand to gain most from a fresh round of money printing bear
more of the risk and cost.

Officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, have told
Reuters that the ECB could require central banks in countries
such as Greece or Portugal to set aside extra money or
provisions to cover potential losses from any bond-buying,
reflecting the riskiness of their bonds.

Dec 19, 2014

Exclusive: ECB considers making weaker euro zone states bear more QE risk – sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – European Central Bank officials are considering ways to ensure weak countries that stand to gain most from a fresh round of money printing bear more of the risk and cost.

Officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, have told Reuters that the ECB could require central banks in countries such as Greece or Portugal to set aside extra money or provisions to cover potential losses from any bond-buying, reflecting the riskiness of their bonds.

Dec 19, 2014

Exclusive: ECB considers making weaker euro zone states bear more quantitative easing risk – sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – European Central Bank officials are considering ways to ensure weak countries that stand to gain most from a fresh round of money printing bear more of the risk and cost.

Officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, have told Reuters that the ECB could require central banks in countries such as Greece or Portugal to set aside extra money or provisions to cover potential losses from any bond-buying, reflecting the riskiness of their bonds.

Dec 18, 2014

ECB’s Draghi tells European leaders: hurry investment and reform

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The president of the European Central Bank urged the region’s leaders on Thursday to speed along a new EU investment plan and renewed his calls for economic reform.

At a meeting of European Union leaders including Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Francois Hollande, Mario Draghi warned of the fragile state of the euro zone’s economy where inflation is low as oil prices tumble, according to people briefed on discussions.

    • About John

      "I am a Reuters correspondent in Brussels, writing about the European Union. I moved here last year from Germany, where I had reported about the financial crisis, turning up numerous scoops and even winning a prestigious business reporting award. Beforehand, I worked with The Sunday Times in London."
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