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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank will not exit its ultra-loose monetary policy faster than it considers appropriate by following the Federal Reserve, the ECB's vice president said on Monday.
The Fed has increased its benchmark rate in March and is expected to push it up at least twice more this year.
The ECB's official policy rate stands at zero as the inflation rate in the 19-member currency bloc is still below the central bank's target.
"We have, in Europe, an independent monetary policy and we don't follow the Fed or the Fed interest rates," Constancio said at a hearing in the European Parliament.
Constancio told lawmakers that each central bank should deal with its own domestic situation: "That's the way it should be."
Reporting by Andreas Framke and Christoph Steitz; Editing by Tom Heneghan