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This decision led to a dramatic decline in the risk premia on sovereign yields, notably those of Italy and Spain.
Thus, it contributed to the efforts undertaken in the euro area, which also involved the creation of the banking union, to break the vicious circle of sovereign risk undermining banks’ stability and thus their ability to finance the real economy.
We gave banks access to five-year refinancing operations on the condition that, in exchange, they boost their lending to the real economy.
In September 2014 we also established a programme to buy covered bonds and asset-backed securities directly linked to the financing of the real economy.
The ECB pursued this strategy throughout the crisis.
We initially sought to make sure that banks could refinance themselves under good conditions so that they could continue to finance the economy.
At a time of weak domestic inflationary pressures, the steep drop in oil prices from mid-2014 onwards caused inflation to weaken further.I know that your committees pay close attention to economic developments in the euro area and to the European Central Bank’s decisions. I also want to hear what you have to say and take your questions, because Economic and Monetary Union is an ongoing project.The crisis showed us that we need more coherent economic policies and a stronger institutional foundation for the euro area.These monetary transactions made it possible to intervene, if needed, in secondary sovereign debt markets in the event of a speculative attack, notably one linked to single currency fears.They were conditional on the establishment of a financial aid programme under the European Stability Mechanism, which would constitute an indication of confidence in the economic convergence and fiscal viability of any country in which we would be called upon to intervene.