ECB launches emergency €750bn coronavirus package

The Odeon movie theater with its Marquee (letter board) banner reading 'Closed - See you soon' in Berlin, Germany, 18 March 2020. Many closed entertainment venues in the German capital chose to present an optimistic or socially aware text on their Marquee, instead of the program that is usually presented. EPA-EFE/OMER MESSINGER

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The European Central Bank (ECB) has launched an emergency €750bn package to ease the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

It will buy government and company debt across the eurozone, including that of troubled Greece and Italy.

ECB boss Christine Lagarde tweeted “there are no limits” to its commitment to the euro.

French President Emmanual Macron said on Twitter that he fully supports the ECB’s bond-buying scheme to support the euro.

He called for greater solidarity in the eurozone, saying: “Our people and our economies need it.”

In recent weeks central banks and governments around the world have announced major stimulus plans.

The so-called Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme comes just six days after the ECB unveiled measures that failed to calm markets, piling pressure on it to do more to support Europe’s economies.

Announcing this latest move Ms Lagarde said the ECB will do everything in its powers to support the euro in these “extraordinary times”.

The asset purchasing scheme will be temporary and be concluded once the ECB “judges that the coronavirus Covid-19 crisis phase is over, but in any case not before the end of the year”, it said in statement.

The announcement came after the bank’s 25-member governing council held emergency talks by phone late into Wednesday evening.

In recent days the ECB had been criticised for not doing enough to support the eurozone compared to the drastic action taken by the US Federal Reserve.

Read more via The Wall Street Journal/ ECB

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