European Central Bank President warns of economic threats posed by coronavirus spread
European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde said Thursday that the bank will continue its economic stimulus policy amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the 19-nation Eurozone continues to face the dangers posed by this disaster..
Speaking in Berlin, Lagarde noted that despite the start of vaccinations in Europe, the rise in the incidence of COVID-19 across the continent has forced local authorities to impose new restrictions that negatively affect the economy in the service sector in most European countries..
“The pandemic continues to pose a serious threat to the health of the population, the Eurozone and the global economy,” – said the president of the central bank.
Last year ECB approved emergency stimulus package for COVID-19. It includes the purchase of government and corporate bonds designed to invest in European economies, maintain low interest rates and provide enterprises with access to cheap loans. Companies used these loans to pay benefits to employees laid off during the pandemic..
In December, the bank added $ 607 billion to this package, which increased the cost of the program to $ 2.2 trillion, and extended the project until March 2022..
With the recent surge in infections and related economic restrictions imposed across Europe, the ECB is poised to offer even more economic support, Christine Lagarde said..
Like the Federal Reserve System in the United States, the ECB is the main monetary authority for countries that use the euro as their currency, setting interest rates and controlling national central banks. Currently, 19 out of 27 EU countries use the euro as their main currency.
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