No change to ECB stance as Greece unveils reforms

HEADLINE Eurozone interest rates remained on hold yesterday at one per cent as the European Central Bank (ECB) waits for the recovery to become more entrenched before tightening policy further.

Last month, the central bank started to withdraw its stimulus by removing unlimited cheap loans to banks.

ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet told a press conference following the decision that Greece – which has been struggling to keep its fiscal deficit under control – will not receive any special treatment.

His comments came as Greece’s Prime Minister George Papandreou promised yesterday to cut the deficit by about 10 per cent of GDP over the next three years.

Trichet said that although he had not yet seen the details of the Greek plan, the ECB would be studying it carefully. He also dismissed the possibility that Greece would leave the Eurozone as an “absurd hypothesis”.

Meanwhile, data released yesterday showed that Eurozone industrial production rose one per cent in November on the previous month.