Europe

German court upholds ECB bond offer that calmed crisis

  • Judges of the constitutional court in  Karlsruhe, Germany, from left:  Monika Hermanns, Peter Huber, Andreas Vosskuhle the President of the court,  and  Herbert Landau announce their  decision  Tuesday June 21, 2016.  Germany's constitutional court has rejected a challenge to a European Central Bank bond-buying program credited with helping keep the euro currency union from breaking up in 2012. The court in Karlsruhe said Tuesday that the ECB had not exceeded its legal powers and rejected arguments from legislators and a citizens' group that the offer to purchase government bonds of troubled countries violated German law.  (Uli Deck/dpa via AP)

    Judges of the constitutional court in Karlsruhe, Germany, from left: Monika Hermanns, Peter Huber, Andreas Vosskuhle the President of the court, and Herbert Landau announce their decision Tuesday June 21, 2016. Germany's constitutional court has rejected a challenge to a European Central Bank bond-buying program credited with helping keep the euro currency union from breaking up in 2012. The court in Karlsruhe said Tuesday that the ECB had not exceeded its legal powers and rejected arguments from legislators and a citizens' group that the offer to purchase government bonds of troubled countries violated German law. (Uli Deck/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 3, 2015 file picture President of European Central Bank, ECB,  Mario Draghi smiles prior to a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, following a meeting of the ECB governing council. Germany's constitutional court has rejected a challenge to a European Central Bank bond-buying program credited with helping keep the euro currency union from breaking up in 2012. The court in Karlsruhe said Tuesday June 21, 2016 that the ECB had not exceeded its legal powers and rejected arguments from legislators and a citizens' group that the offer to purchase government bonds of troubled countries violated German law. (AP Photo/Michael Probst,file)

    FILE - In this Sept. 3, 2015 file picture President of European Central Bank, ECB, Mario Draghi smiles prior to a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, following a meeting of the ECB governing council. Germany's constitutional court has rejected a challenge to a European Central Bank bond-buying program credited with helping keep the euro currency union from breaking up in 2012. The court in Karlsruhe said Tuesday June 21, 2016 that the ECB had not exceeded its legal powers and rejected arguments from legislators and a citizens' group that the offer to purchase government bonds of troubled countries violated German law. (AP Photo/Michael Probst,file)  (The Associated Press)

Germany's constitutional court has rejected a challenge to a European Central Bank bond-buying program credited with helping keep the euro currency union from breaking up in 2012.

The court in Karlsruhe said Tuesday that the ECB had not exceeded its legal powers and rejected arguments from legislators and a citizens' group that the offer to purchase government bonds of troubled countries violated German law.

ECB President Mario Draghi announced the program in 2012 as bond market turmoil threatened the finances of several euro countries. The ECB offered to buy bonds of countries facing elevated borrowing costs if they submitted to financial reforms.

The program was never used, but the mere existence of an unlimited monetary backstop from the central bank helped ease market pressure on governments struggling with excessive debt.