June 6 - The European Central Bank put the onus firmly on euro zone governments to solve the bloc's debt crisis, dashing expectations it could take near-term action despite saying the currency area's economy was under increasing threat. Andrew Potter reports.
If investors thought the European Central Bank was about to help struggling euro zone banks at its monthly meeting they were quickly proved wrong. ECB head Mario Draghi said there would be no easing of monetary policy, and interest rates would stay at one percent. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK PRESIDENT MARIO DRAGHI SAYING: "Economic growth in the euro area remains weak, with heightened uncertainty weighing on confidence and sentiment, giving rise to increased downside risks to the economic outlook." Draghi praised the European Union's move towards more complete economic integration. But as EU officials urgently explore ways to rescue Spain's heavily indebted banks, Draghi played down the prospect of providing lenders with cheap loans for the third time. He also said the ECB would not force any country to take aid from the European Financial Stability Fund. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK PRESIDENT MARIO DRAGHI SAYING: "I don't view it as the ECB's task to push governments into doing something. It's really their own decision whether they want to access the EFSF or not." Once again it's down to European political leaders to try and reach a solution that so far so has far eluded them. They'll meet at a summit later this month. Andrew Potter, Reuters