March 7, 2013 / 2:01 PM / 4 years ago

Draghi comments at ECB news conference

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank kept interest rates steady at a policy meeting on Thursday. Following are comments by ECB President Mario Draghi at a news conference after the meeting.

ON ITALY

"Markets have reverted back to where they were before" the Italian election.

"Markets understand that we live in democracies."

PRICE RISKS

"Risks to the outlook for price developments continue to be seen as broadly balanced over the medium term.

"Underlying price pressures should remain contained, given the environment of weak economic activity in the euro area."

DOWNSIDE ECONOMIC RISKS

"The Governing Council continues to see downside risks surrounding the economic outlook for the euro area.

"A gradual (economic) recovery should commence in the second part (of 2013)."

FULL ALLOTMENT OF LIQUIDITY

"Our monetary policy stance will remain accommodative with the full allotment mode of liquidity provision."

CLOSELY MONITORING MONEY MARKETS

"We are closely monitoring conditions in the money markets, and their potential impact on the stance of monetary policy and the functioning of our transmission of our monetary policy to the economy."

LTRO REPAYMENTS

"These repayments reflect improvements in financial market confidence over the last few months and receding financial market fragmentation."

GRADUAL RECOVERY

"Necessary balance sheet adjustments in the public and private sectors will continue to weigh on economic activity. Later in 2013, economic activity should gradually recover, supported by a strengthening of global demand and our accommodative monetary policy stance."

INFLATION

"Inflation expectations for the euro area remain firmly anchored, in line with our aim of maintaining inflation rates below but close to 2 percent over the medium term. Overall, this will allow our monetary policy stance to remain accommodative."

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