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Top ECB official: Time to discuss stimulus withdrawal

June 6, 2018

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — A top European Central Bank official says bank officials will begin discussions next week on withdrawing their bond-purchase stimulus — suggesting the ECB isn’t overly worried by the recent political upheaval in Italy.

Executive board member Peter Praet said in a speech Wednesday that “next week, the governing council will have to assess whether progress so far has been sufficient to warrant an unwinding of our net asset purchases.”

Currently the bank says it will keep buying 30 billion euros ($35 billion) in bonds at least through September. Analysts think the bank will phase them out around the end of this year.

The governing council meets June 14 in Riga, Latvia.

Italy’s new populist government has proposed extra spending that briefly raised market fears of a renewed eurozone debt crisis.

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