EU court dismisses case against ECB's bond-buy programme
FRANKFURT Dec 19 (Reuters) - The General Court of the European Union has dismissed a case brought against the European Central Bank's (ECB) government bond purchase programme and the changes made to the ECB's collateral framework, the court said on Thursday.
The case is a prelude to a ruling by the German Constitutional Court, expected next year, on whether the ECB's bond-buy plan, dubbed the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT), violates German law.
The ruling by Germany's top court could derail the OMT, introduced by the ECB over year ago but as yet unused, which has widely been credited for stabilising the euro zone.
The case brought before the EU's general court did not, however, question the legality of the OMT programme and is therefore less significant.
The General Court of the EU argued in a ruling from Dec. 10, published by the court on Thursday, that the plaintiffs did not have the right to sue because the OMT had not yet been activated and they had therefore not been affected.
The ruling included a list of the more than 5,000 plaintiffs, most of whom are based in Germany.
They had argued that government bond purchases by national central banks and the ECB would lead to turmoil in financial markets, harming price stability and depreciating their wealth.
(Reporting by Eva Taylor and Sakari Suoninen; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)
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