Skip to content
Markets
Economics

ECB Spent Billions to Shield Italy Using First Line of Defense

  • Figures show use of flexibility as initial crisis response
  • Central bank published net purchase data for June and July
The Italian national flag flies near a monument to the unknown soldier in Rome.

The Italian national flag flies near a monument to the unknown soldier in Rome.

Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg

European Central Bank officials appear to have deployed billions of euros in bond purchases to shield Italy and other southern euro members since activating their first line of defense a month ago to keep speculators at bay. 

Data released on Tuesday points to a significant use of funds freed up by maturing debt in the portfolio of its pandemic program, suggesting the use of a tool crafted by policy makers as an initial response to any market turmoil.