Bloomberg News

ECB Free to Stop Buying Italian Bonds, Mersch Tells La Stampa

November 07, 2011

Nov. 5 (Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank council member Yves Mersch said the bank is free to decide to stop buying Italian bonds if conditions are no longer met, in an interview with Italy’s La Stampa to be published tomorrow.

ECB President Mario Draghi’s priority remains price stability, Mersch said, when asked if the new president would be more focused on growth.

European Union treaties should be changed as the confidence crisis poses a governance issue, Mersch said. The euro-zone, unlike the EU, doesn’t have a political body to function alongside the ECB, he added. ECB council member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi shouldn’t be forced to resign, newspaper La Stampa cited him as saying.

--With assistance from Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marco Bertacche in Milan at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: C. Thompson at

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