The European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday, November 8 indicated satisfaction with Europe’s progress in resolving the euro crisis by holding interest rates steady.
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While near term concerns remain, ECB president Mario Draghi cited a number of indicators that signal reduced tension in the financial markets.
Successful bond sales by Ireland and Portugal along with a return of US money funds to the region are among those indicators.
Draghi said the recovery would be slow but solid. He also left the door open for further rate cuts and other stimulus measures without making a firm commitment to any of them.
He also emphasized the ECB’s willingness to purchase sovereign bonds to avoid extreme scenarios. The threat of intervention by the ECB has so far been enough to ward off dangerous levels of borrowing costs in Spain.
Draghi praised Euro area governments, saying they had done more to control spending than either Japan or the US. He also stated that the ECB would not forgive any Greek debt
it holds from a previous bond purchasing program.
Draghi also said the ECB board needs to include more women. Last month, the European parliament rejected the nomination of the head of the central bank in Luxembourg, citing the need to fill the vacancy on the ECB’s board with a woman.