There was little new on ECB monetary policy from Jean-Claude Trichet, president, at his press conference – confirming that its main interest rate is firmly on hold. The introductory statement was virtually word-for-word the same as in December.
That left lots of time for questions on Greece, which clearly has a long way to go before it is back in favour in Frankfurt. Mr Trichet put the emphasis on Athens itself putting its finances back on course. He dismissed as “absurd” financial market chatter about Greece ever leaving the eurozone, and sidestepped questions about whether other European Union countries might help Greece out. “The problem is not to get help but to help oneself,” he argued.