Top European Court declares ECB bond buying programme legal

European Court of Justice in Luxemburg upholds legality of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) bond buying program

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A European Central Bank bond-buying plan crafted at the height of the eurozone crisis is in line with European law, judges from the European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday, throwing their weight behind the ECB and rebuffing a German challenge.

The European Union's top court was responding to legal action by a 35,000-strong group of sceptics from Germany including politicians and academics, who had sought to dismantle the bond-buying scheme which was created in 2012 but never used.

In a statement explaining the ruling, the court set down certain conditions, saying safeguards must be built in to ensure any such programme did not break rules that prohibit central banks from financing governments.

The judgement is a milestone in a long-running dispute about printing money and the limits of central bank powers between the ECB and sceptics in Germany, the largest of 19 states in the euro zone. It represents a victory for the ECB.