The European Central Bank will only buy a euro zone country’s sovereign bonds if it commits to “hard reforms”, ECB policymaker Joerg Asmussen said on Friday, seeking to soothe German concerns that the central bank is embarking on a risky new strategy.
German media attacked the ECB’s agreement on Thursday to launch a new and potentially unlimited bond-buying program to lower struggling euro zone countries’ borrowing costs and draw a line under the debt crisis, with mass-selling daily Bild running a headline on Friday reading: “Blank cheque for debt states”.
Asmussen, a former deputy German finance minister, took to the airwaves early to stress the conditions tied to the plan.
“(Bond buying) will only take place when the country undertakes tough reform measures. That is a necessary precondition for the ECB to act,” he told Inforadio rbb.