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Europe Maintains Interest Rate At 1%   
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The European Central Bank (ECB) has kept the eurozone interest rate at its lowest for 10 consecutive months. The ECB also revealed that it would scale back the special lending measures that were introduced during the financial crisis.

ECB President, Jean-Claude Trichet said the economic recovery in the euro area was "on track but will remain uneven.” Worries remain about Greece's ability to tackle its debts, despite announcement of new austerity plans.

But Mr Trichet dismissed suggestions that “Greece could leave the euro zone as an absurd hypothesis. “As president of the ECB, I am making a very positive judgement on the decisions that Greece has adopted.” Earlier, the Bank of England kept the country’s key interest rate at 0.5 percent.

Mr Trichet said the central bank would withdraw some of the measures put in place. For instance, the bank fixed the interest rate for three-month loans at the benchmark rate, but that would now return to a variable rate from 28 April 2010. Eurozone interest rates have been at 1 percent since May last year.

The ECB estimates that the eurozone's economy would expand by between 0.4 percent and 1.2 percent in 2010 and between 0.5 percent and 2.5 percent in 2011.

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