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Mario Draghi on Thursday looked to dull speculation that the European Central Bank will halt its negative rate experiment later this year. In a press conference later in the day, Vitor Constâncio said that Mr Draghi has “a lot of support” for his stance.

Q: There seems to be some disagreement within the ECB on the sequencing of the exit strategy from unconventional measures / QE. What is your stance and what did you make of Mr Draghi’s comments this morning?

A: Mr Constâncio, vice president of the ECB:

“I can tell you that there is indeed a wide consensus around the policies that we have been pursuing, that should be clear to anyone who cares to read our accounts of our meetings. There are of course sometimes different nuances about some elements of the policy but they are not about the direction of the policy.”

“I think you will see and you will find in the near future that the speech our president delivered today…has a lot of support and indeed defines the president’s stance.”

He said that recent “somewhat disappointing” numbers on inflation “validate the decision to keep the stance that we took in our meeting at the beginning of March.”

“Of course as ever we are data dependent, so if the situation shown signs of further improvement, then we will reassess our policy stance.”

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