(Corrects to replace "indeed lower" with "possibly lower" in
second paragraph, headline)
PARIS, April 4 Euro zone countries are
experiencing a recovery but lower interest rates may be needed
to nurture it, European Central Bank executive board member
Benoit Coeure told France's Le Figaro newspaper on Friday.
"The markets anticipate an economic recovery," he said in an
interview published on the newspaper's web site. "At the ECB we
consider that the recovery has already arrived, but we know it
to be gradual and fragile. We therefore want to accompany it
with low, or possibly lower, interest rates, over a prolonged
He said the ECB did not see further quantitative easing
measures as necessary for the time being but added: "We will
continue to follow developments very closely and will act if
On Thursday, the ECB opened the door to possibly turning on
its money-printing presses to boost the euro zone economy and
keep inflation from staying too low.
It kept interest rates steady at 0.25 percent at its regular
meeting, but ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank
had achieved unanimity that asset purchases, also known as
quantitative easing, might be needed to tackle inflation if it
proved persistently low.
Coeure, a French national, also said France must respect its
commitments to Europe with regard to reducing its deficit. "It's
a question of credibility, and of confidence," he said.
France's reshuffled government lost no time on Thursday in
indicating that it will seek to renegotiate its
deficit-reduction deadline with the European Commission, setting
it on a collision course with its EU partners.
France had previously promised to bring its public deficit
under the EU treaty limit of 3 percent of national income in
(Reporting by Andrew Callus; Editing by James Regan and Janet