Debt Crisis: ECB Buying Spanish and Italian Debt ‘Makes No Sense’ Says Belgian Bank Governor
The European Central Bank should not buy Spanish and Italian debt because it “makes no sense” and will take away the pressure on politicians to act, Belgium’s central bank governor has said.
Luc Coene told Belgian newspapers De Tijd and L’Echo that buying the bonds of these countries would only serve to weaken the ECB and do nothing to resolve underlying issues of competitiveness.
“It makes no sense for the ECB to start financing those countries,” said Mr Coene, “It would only lead to the ECB taking on the whole public debt of Spain and Italy onto its balance sheet,” he said.
“That would in turn weaken the ECB and do nothing to resolve the underlying problems.”
Mr Coene also said that the central bank’s efforts to calm markets last summer with around €135bn of additional debt purchases on the secondary market via its Securities Markets programme took away the pressure on politicians to act.
“We haven’t forgotten what happened in August of last year: We bought Italian bonds and right after that the Italian government reneged on its pledges,” he said.