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Draghi Indicates Willingness for ECB to Buy Shorter-Dated Bonds

BRUSSELS ( TheStreet) -- The president of the European Central Bank Monday indicated the bank would be open to buying government bonds that mature in less than three years of troubled eurozone countries, according to a published media report.

Mario Draghi's comments came during a closed hearing at the European Parliament, according to the report, published on The Wall Street Journal's Web site.

Draghi said that ECB purchases of bonds with maturities of two to three years wouldn't break European Union treaties, the report said, citing lawmakers who were at the hearing.

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The comments come before the ECB's monthly policy meeting scheduled for Thursday.

Global financial markets are looking to that meeting for more information about how the ECB may help to reduce the funding costs of countries such as Spain and Italy, the report noted.

EU treaties prohibit the ECB from financing governments, but a lawmaker at Monday's hearing said Draghi said that buying debt with maturities of two to three years on the open market wouldn't violate those treaties, the report said.

Draghi did say, however, that bank purchases of longer-dated debt would amount to monetary financing and break the treaties, the report added.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.

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