The European Central Bank's bond-buying program is now in sleep mode, but new targeted measures can be decided if need be, ECB governing council member Ewald Nowotny said on Monday.
The new policy measures could be taken if stress makes a comeback in Europe, but I don't see a need now, Nowotny said in a speech at New York University. This is a common view of ECB monetary policymakers, added Nowotny, who is governor of the National Bank of Austria.
The ECB has lowered interest rates to 1 percent and pumped over 1 trillion euros into the financial system with twin 3-year funding operations, known as LTROs, to stave off a credit crunch that late last year risked exacerbating the euro zone crisis and jeopardizing the currency.
It makes sense to give some time to see the full effects of the (LTRO) operations, Nowotny later told reporters.
The European Central Bank's program of bond-buying efforts - called Securities Market Programmes (SMP), in which it purchases debt of euro zone nations - has gone unused for several weeks now, and many debt-laden euro area countries are making sharp budget cuts to prove their fiscal austerity.
Any new bond-buying would meet strong resistance from the Bundesbank and ECB policymakers from the euro zone's other healthier economies. Yet, one should not overestimate smaller differences of opinion between the Bundesbank and some ECB policymakers, Nowotny said.
Meanwhile, European nations recently agreed to increase a financial stability facility to 700 billion euros to backstop struggling nations. Nowotny said this is not to be seen as a kind of permanent transfer.
They are loans given with conditions, he said. Discussions about 'firewalls' are misleading.
(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama; Editing by Andrew Hay)