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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank might never have to actually buy bonds through its bond-buying programme, Governing Council member George Provopoulos was quoted as saying on Friday.
The programme - dubbed Outright Monetary Transactions, or OMT - is credited with calming market fears of the break-up of the common currency area. The ECB unveiled it in September, but it has not been used so far.
"Given that in the last few months we have had a kind of stabilisation, normalization, maybe it will never be used," Provopoulos told news agency Bloomberg in an interview.
"OMT has helped enormously. It is a good thing that we have decided to go ahead with that, just in case it would be needed."
Provopoulos, who is also central bank governor of Greece, also said that the Greek economy is likely to pick up by the middle of next year or sooner.
(Reporting by Sakari Suoninen and Eva Kuehnen Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)