German Chancellor Angela Merkel balked at committing to directsovereign debt purchases through the euro-area bailout fund,pushing back on calls by the bloc's leaders who support the measureas a way to ease the crisis.

Such a move, while legally possible, “is not up for debate” atpresent, Merkel said yesterday in Berlin. French President FrancoisHollande championed the idea of using the European StabilityMechanism to purchase indebted countries' bonds as a way to counterrising yields. Just returned from the Group of 20 summit in LosCabos, Mexico, Merkel said: “I haven't heard about suchthings.”

“There is no concrete planning that I know about, but there isthe possibility of purchasing sovereign bonds on the secondarymarket,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin after meeting with DutchPrime Minister Mark Rutte. “But this is a purely theoreticalstatement about the legal situation.”

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