January 22, 2015 / 1:53 PM / 3 years ago

ECB agrees landmark sovereign bond-buy plan

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank agreed on Thursday to embark on a quantitative easing (QE) programme, which together with its existing schemes will pump 60 billion euros a month into the euro zone economy from this March until September next year.

European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi arrives for an ECB news conference in Frankfurt January 22, 2015. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Countries under a bailout programme, such as Greece, will be included but with some additional criteria.

The ECB is launching the programme with a view to buoying the flagging euro zone economy, where inflation has turned negative and - at minus 0.2 percent - is far below the central bank’s target of just under 2 percent.

“Under this expanded programme the combined monthly purchases of public and private sector securities will amount to 60 billion euros,” ECB President Mario Draghi said at a news conference.

“They are intended to be carried out until end-September 2016 and will in any case be conducted until we see a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation.”

Writing by Paul Carrel Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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