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Business

ECB's Draghi prepares ground for 'exceptional measures'

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has spoken out in favor of taking exceptional steps to ensure price stability in the eurozone. But he said such measures would still have to be within the bank's mandate.

ECB President Mario Draghi told the German newspaper Die Zeit on Wednesday the central bank would do what is required to safeguard price stability in the debt-stricken eurozone.

"The ECB will remain independent and will always act within its mandate, but it should be understood that fulfilling our mandate sometimes requires us to go beyond standard monetary policy tools," Draghi said.

His comments were made amid Italian and Spanish hopes that the central bank might resume its controversial bond-buying program to keep borrowing costs at bay.

Market psychology stands in the way

Draghi spoke of eurozone markets which were fragmented and often influenced by fears, adding that the ECB's monetary policy signals had not always reached citizens in the bloc.

"We have to fix such blockages to ensure a single monetary policy and therefore price stability for all euro area citizens," he argued.

Earlier in August, the ECB President had warned that a resumption of bond purchases could only come about under very strict conditions, meaning that austerity schemes in the nations affected must not be watered down. Market analysts expect Draghi to unveil the details of a new firefighting scheme at the ECB's next policy meeting on September 6.

hg/msh  (AFP, Reuters, dapd)