2 former top ECB officials criticize bond buying

ECB's 2 former chief economists criticize central bank's bond buying program

Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) -- The European Central Bank's two former chief economists are criticizing the institution's announcement to buy unlimited amounts of government bonds.

Otmar Issing and Juergen Stark said in separate interviews published Sunday the central bank is overstepping its mandate.

In September, the ECB announced plans to buy bonds to help lower borrowing costs for struggling nations once they get assistance from Europe's rescue funds and meet certain conditions.

Issing told the BBC in an interview to be broadcast Monday the bond buying program "is something very dangerous because here the ECB is doing the business that is not done by governments."

German news magazine Der Spiegel quotes Stark, who stepped down over policy disagreements last year, as saying the ECB has "overstepped its mandate" and has started to finance government debt.

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