Wim Duisenberg, the European Central Bank (ECB) President, said on December 8 that there "is not the least risk" at present of a resurgence of inflation in the Euro zone, even if the forecasts point to a 1.6% increase, against 1.2% this year. Speaking to the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, he stressed that he was not unhappy with the present exchange rates between the Euro zone currencies and the Dollar. He did voice concern about the volatility of the exchange rates, "as this may act in favour of one side or the other". He announced that the ECB would be seeking to help ensure the stability of the Euro-Dollar exchange rate "when it has the opportunity". On December 22, the ECB will be announcing the repurchase (repo) rate officially set for the 11 Euro zone countries.

Mr Duisenberg said the lower interest rates (decided on in chorus by the Euro zone Central Banks on December 3), was aimed at "stopping speculation so as to...

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