LONDON, April 7 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank is drawing up plans for large-scale asset purchases in case they are needed but there remains some way to go before that point, one of bank's top policymakers said on Monday.
"The inflation and deflation risks are more or less level in EMU area which means that we do not see an imminent risk of deflation. However, we are ready to prepare for such a situation," Yves Mersch, one of the ECB's six Executive Board members said at conference organised by Clearstream.
On Thursday, the ECB opened the door to possibly turning on its money-printing presses to boost the euro zone economy and keep inflation from staying too low.
It kept interest rates steady at 0.25 percent at its regular meeting, but ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank had achieved unanimity that asset purchases, also known as quantitative easing, might be needed to tackle inflation if it proved persistently low. (Reporting by Marc Jones and Huw Jones)