EU Commission welcomes referral of ECB case to EU court

BRUSSELS Fri Feb 7, 2014 6:31am EST

BRUSSELS Feb 7 (Reuters) - The European Commission welcomed the decision by Germany's constitutional court on Friday to refer a sensitive case involving the European Central Bank's monetary operations to the European Court of Justice.

"It's the first time that the (German) court has taken such a decision," said Simon O'Connor, the Commission's spokesman on monetary issues. "We welcome the fact that the court has referred this question to the European Court of Justice."

The Commission has long supported the decision by the ECB in 2012 to introduce "Outright Monetary Transactions", a policy to help quell the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis. However, the policy was challenged in the German court as going beyond the mandate of the central bank.

O'Connor said the Commission, as is usual, would provide written and oral submissions to the European Court of Justice as it prepares to examine the case.

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