European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said the ECB would rather have the European Financial Stability Facility buy government bonds than itself, according to an interview in Austria’s Kurier newspaper.
“The EFSF has the option to buy government bonds in the secondary market,” Nowotny was quoted as saying by the Vienna-based newspaper. “The ECB has welcomed this opportunity because it doesn’t want to go on with its own program to buy government bonds.”
Nowotny said he expects the European Union’s summit this week to define the general direction of policy measures to fight the euro area’s debt crisis. Those measures need to be worked out in more detail after the summit, he said.
“We have to be careful not to create great, unrealistic expectations which mean that disappointment is a foregone conclusion,” he said. “The proposals include a political union, a fiscal union and a banking union. All three proposals are very far-reaching.”
Nowotny said that a prolongation of the Greek aid program can only be considered after “taking stock” with the new government in Athens.