April 4, 2014 / 1:36 PM / 3 years ago

ECB's Constancio says QE details not yet discussed - CNBC

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CERNOBBIO, Italy, April 4 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank did not discuss details of how it might implement quantitative easing in the euro zone at Thursday's Governing Council meeting, ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio said on Friday.

Constancio said the main achievement of the meeting was to build unanimity that asset purchases could be considered if inflation stays below 1 percent, and that key details - such as whether the ECB would buy government bonds - were not broached.

"We did not discuss details, because that was not the environment to do it," he told broadcaster CNBC.

"We will see how it goes and ... if indeed we will have to use all those instruments," he added when asked about government bond purchases.

Government bond purchases were the mainstay of quantitative easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, but some ECB policymakers are wary of having to choose between the government debt of different euro zone member states, and would prefer to buy private-sector assets instead.

Constancio also said June's ECB staff economic projections would be the key to determining whether March's unexpectedly low inflation reading of 0.5 percent had reduced the chance of inflation returning to its medium-term target of 2 percent over the next 2-1/2 years. (Reporting by Francesca Landini, writing by David Milliken and Eva Taylor)

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