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Euro Zone Overcomes Shrinkage | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) are pictured in Frankfurt, Germany. (Reuters)

Frankfurt – The European Central Bank (ECB) maintained its monetary policy unchanged and offered no indication that it is ready to pull back on its stimulus program. It decided to keep interest rates at the same level amidst drop of inflation and slowdown of growth.

ECB Chief Mario Draghi said, in a news conference, that the bank sees no risk of prices’ shrinkage in the Euro zone.

The ECB pledged on Thursday to maintain the stimulus program until the end of 2017, at least, as a support to the economy amidst mounting objection over the single currency area prior to elections in France and the Netherlands.

“The euro is here to stay. It’s not about whether or not it is irrevocable. It is,” stated Draghi.

Draghi said that when the G20 convenes mid-March, it is called to assert abidance by open trade. He added that it is urged to recommit to not using the exchange rate for reinforcing competitiveness capability.

An initial draft of March meeting points that ministries of finance and central banks’ governors might no more reject trade protectionism or any competitive reductions of currencies value after the US accusing some commercial parties, namely Germany, of exploiting the weak currency.

Ministries of finance and central banks’ governors of the G20 will convene on March 17 and 18 in Germany’s Baden to discuss global economy.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) commended on Thursday the ECB decision to maintain its active stimulus program since it helps the Euro zone recover. IMF spokesman Jerry Rice told reporters that the IMF is reassured towards the ECB commitment to use all available tools to guarantee a sustainable adjustment of inflation.