FRANKFURT, Germany -- The European Central Bank says there has been a "tangible easing" of stress on banks and markets from the eurozone debt crisis.
It says risks remain, however, particularly if governments slow down their efforts to cut debt and deficits and improve growth.
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The bank is crediting its plan to buy the bonds of heavily indebted countries, which would lower their borrowing costs. European Union efforts to establish stronger banking oversight helped too, the bank said Friday.
The bond purchase plan has seen borrowing rates fall for troubled countries such as Spain and Italy, even though no bonds have been bought.
The ECB warned that the banking system across the 17 countries that use the euro remains fragmented, with borrowing costs higher in troubled countries than in others.