FRANKFURT, July 3 European Central Bank
President Mario Draghi said on Thursday that risks facing the
euro zone economy meant interest rates will stay low for an
"The risks surrounding the economic outlook for the euro
area remain on the downside," Draghi said at a news conference
after the bank had left interest rates unchanged.
"In particular, geopolitical risks, as well as developments
in emerging market economies and global financial markets may
have the potential to affect economic conditions negatively,
including through effects on energy prices and global demand for
euro area products," he said.
He said this meant interest rates - currently at record lows
of 0.15 percent - were not likely to move.
"The key ECB interest rates will remain at the present
levels for an extended period of time in view of the current
outlook for inflation.
"Moreover, the Governing Council is unanimous in its
commitment to also using unconventional instruments within its
mandate, should it become necessary to further address risks of
too prolonged a period of low inflation."
(Reporting by Eva Taylor Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)