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ECB to end stimulus programme later this year

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ECB President Mario Draghi
ECB President Mario Draghi
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The European Central Bank kept interest rates unchanged at on Thursday. But ECB president Mario Draghi also confirmed that later this year it will end its massive-scale programme to stimulate the eurozone economy.

Since 2015 over two trillion euros has been buying up government bonds, pumping over two trillion euros into the bloc and interest rates have been held at or near zero.

"In order to reap the full benefits from our monetary policy measures, other policy areas must contribute more decisively to raising the longer term growth potential and reducung vulnerabilities," ECB President Mario Draghi told a press conference. "The implementation of structural reforms in euro area countries needs to be substentially stepped up to increase resilience, reduce structural unemployment and boost euro area productivity and growth potential."

Draghi admitted that the eurozone recovery has slowed recently but he said underlying growth remained strong.

He also said that long-term inflation projections were within the bank's target of just below two percent.