The European Central Bank (ECB) announced an economic stimulus program worth €750 billion Wednesday night.
The central bank said in a statement that the governing council had decided to launch a temporary asset purchase program to navigate the economic downturn across the eurozone linked to the coronavirus outbreak. The program should last until the end of 2020.
“Extraordinary times require extraordinary action,” ECB chief Christine Lagarde said on Twitter. “There are no limits to our commitment to the euro. We are determined to use the full potential of our tools, within our mandate.”
Under the new program, called the “Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme” (PEPP), the central bank will buy both public and private securities in a “flexible manner.”
“This allows for fluctuations in the distribution of purchase flows over time, across asset classes and among jurisdictions,” the ECB said in the statement.
The central bank also said the previously imposed eligibility requirements for securities issued by the Greek government would be waived under the new temporary purchase program.
“The governing council will terminate net asset purchases under PEPP once it judges that the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis phase is over, but in any case not before the end of the year,” said the ECB.
The central bank added that it could still go further. “To the extent that some self-imposed limits might hamper action that the ECB is required to take in order to fulfill its mandate, the governing council will consider revising them,” it said in the statement.