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.
Extraordinary times require extraordinary action. There are no limits to our commitment to the euro. We are determined to use the full potential of our tools, within our mandate. https://t.co/RhxuVYPeVR
— Christine Lagarde (@Lagarde) March 18, 2020
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.”
Plein soutien aux mesures exceptionnelles prises ce soir par la BCE. À nous États européens d’être au rendez-vous par nos interventions budgétaires et une plus grande solidarité financière au sein de la zone euro. Nos peuples et nos économies en ont besoin. https://t.co/dCV00uvmt5
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 18, 2020
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.