The European Central Bank said on Sunday it was ready to implement its SMP bond-buying programme, a move financial markets had been looking for as a possible way to prevent the euro zone debt crisis from widening.
In a statement, the ECB said it welcomed announcements by Spain and Italy -- countries now at the centre of the debt crisis -- on new fiscal and structural policy measures, and it urged both governments to roll them out swiftly.
The Frankfurt-based central bank added that it "will actively implement its Securities Markets Programme."
"This programme has been designed to help restore a better transmission of our monetary policy decisions -- taking account of dysfunctional market segments -- and therefore to ensure price stability in the euro area.
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