ECB's President Draghi says large majority in favour of QE

FRANKFURT (REUTERS) - European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Thursday there was a large majority on the bank's Governing Council in favour of launching a broad quantitative easing plan.

Draghi said at a news conference following the ECB's monetary policy meeting that governing council members had been"unanimous in stating that the asset purchase programme is a true monetary policy tool in a legal sense".

"That is important because it establishes the principle that this is a monetary policy tool that should be used in the right situations but it is part of our toolbox," he added. "Second there was a large majority on the need to trigger it now, and so large that we didn't need to take a vote ... And finally there was a consensus on risk-sharing set at 20 percent and 80 percent on a no-risk-sharing basis."

He made no reference to countries that may have been opposed. Germany's central bank and senior politicians have been reluctant to buy government debt, saying it could encourage feckless spending by some governments and slow economic reforms.