A European Central Bank bond-buying plan crafted at the height of the euro zone crisis is in line with European law, judges from the European Court of Justice have ruled, throwing their weight behind the ECB and rebuffing a German challenge. As Sonia Legg reports, the ruling comes at a key time for the euro zone, particularly Greece.
Few deny the latest QE programme has helped revive Europe's economy. But some did deny the legality of a 2012 bond-buying programme which was created by the European Central Bank. A group of 35,000 sceptics from Germany, including politicians and academics, took legal action in a bid to dismantle the never-used OMT scheme. They lost - a Luxembourg court has ruled the plan is in line with EU law. The court said there should be safeguards to prevent central banks financing governments. That's a timely reminder when Greek banks are being kept afloat by the ECB. It's also a principle bank boss Mario Draghi is keen to enforce. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK PRESIDENT, MARIO DRAGHI, SAYING: "It should be absolutely clear that the decision on whether to conclude the review of the current program and disburse further financial support to Greece lies entirely with the euro group, so ultimately with the euro area member states." The ruling could open the door to more asset purchases by the ECB, says Brenda Kelly from London Capital Group. (SOUNDBITE) (English): Brenda Kelly, Head Analyst, London Capital Group, saying: "I think over the last few months we have seen approximately 40 billion of asset purchases each particular month but it hasn't been to the same height as I would have expected. Certainly, I would expect to see a better deal front-running on this particular market over the coming months." Either way, Draghi will no doubt be relieved the court has ruled in his favour, putting an end to the long-running dispute at a crucial time.