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ECB emphasizes commitment to bond-buying plan

European Central Bank (ECB) policymakers are committed to the recently-implemented bond-buying program "without hesitation" until its objectives are reached, minutes from their March meeting reveal.

At its March 5 meeting, the ECB Governing Council said it was essential to "remain firm" on the policy, and reiterated its commitment to keep it in place "for as long as needed," according to records published Thursday.

After years of promises and various liquidity programs, ECB President Mario Draghi announced in January that the bank would start to buy sovereign bonds in a quantitative easing (QE) program. The bank started its massive 60-billion-euro-a-month ($66.3 billion) bond-buying program on March 9.

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank
Martin Leissl I Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank

By purchasing bonds, yields are suppressed, meaning that euro zone countries can finance their debts at lower prices and help with the recovery process. It also means investors are pushed into riskier areas of the market, which also hopefully stimulates lending and growth.

The minutes revealed that, overall, policymakers thought the risks surrounding the euro area economic outlook remained to the downside, and had diminished following recent monetary policy decisions and the fall in oil prices.

While the account of the meeting showed that the Governing Council members supported the extraordinary stimulus measures unequivocally, they did say "it was not clear to what extent monetary policy would still be as supportive in 2017".

"Looking at the minutes, it really seems that the ECB is committed to this policy. That is interesting in itself because, between the January meeting when this policy was announced and March meeting these minutes refer to, there was a change in the economic data," Jane Foley, senior currency strategist at Rabobank, told CNBC.

"We did see euro zone and German economic data improve dramatically across the board, we saw that Draghi remarked on this at the press conference that followed the meeting -- and yet these minutes show they are still very much committed to this policy; they saw the risks of not doing it as severe and also that they wanted to front-load it," she added.