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IMF wants role in ECB bond-buying plan: Lagarde

Published on Sep 9, 2012 4:58 PM
International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde attends the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Russia's far eastern port city Vladivostok on Sept 9, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (AFP) - The International Monetary Fund wants a role in the "design and monitoring" of a new European Central Bank sovereign bond-buying scheme, the IMF chief said on Sunday.

"We are keen to help, we're always ready to respond to members' demands," managing director Christine Lagarde said after attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Russia's Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok.

"Clearly when we get involved, we want to be involved in the design and monitoring of programmes," she told reporters. "We don't particularly want to do monitoring without having participated actively in the design." The ECB last week announced a massive sovereign bond buy-up programme designed to avert a breakup of the European monetary union amid an escalating debt crisis.

ECB chief Mario Draghi said the central bank would intervene on the secondary market to buy unlimited volumes of bonds with maturities of up to three years, in an effort to pull down struggling governments' borrowing rates. Vowing to "do whatever it takes" to keep the euro zone together, Mr Draghi said he would seek the IMF's involvement in setting country-specific conditions for the programme, as well as help in monitoring.