The European Central Bank is this week set to strengthen its commitment to prop up vulnerable eurozone countries’ debt markets if they are hit by a sell-off, as policymakers prepare to raise rates for the first time in more than a decade. The bulk of the 25 governing council members are expected to support a proposal to create a new bond-buying programme if needed to counter borrowing costs for member states, such as Italy, spiralling out of control, according to several people involved in the discussions. Even without a new scheme, the ECB already has an additional €200bn to spend on purchasing stressed government debt under its existing bond-buying programme. That €200bn would come from bringing forward reinvestments of maturing assets by up to a year. Italian government debt rallied on Monday morning, pushing the yield on the country’s benchmark 10-year bond down as much as 0.1 percentage points to 3.3 per cent.