News Summary: German court weighs ECB crisis tool

News Summary: Germany's highest court weighs legality of ECB debt crisis measure

Associated Press

THE HEARING: Top European financial officials weighed in both for and against a European Central Bank program that has been instrumental in calming the euro debt crisis as it faced a legal challenge in Germany's highest court.

GERMANS ARE SPLIT: The ECB's program has been credited with easing turmoil in bond markets in the 17-country Eurozone, but critics say it oversteps the central bank's mandate and threatens the independence of Germany's monetary policy.

THE PROGRAM: The ECB is offering to buy the government bonds of a country in need of financial help, thus lowering its borrowing costs. The ECB hasn't bought any bonds yet. But the program's existence has helped lower borrowing costs, easing fears the eurozone might break apart.

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