ECB Cuts Benchmark Interest Rate to 0.5%

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- European Central Bank president Mario Draghi says the bank is working with other European institutions to find a way to get more credit to small and medium size companies -- and spur a lagging economy.

Draghi said the consultations would focus on creating a market for securities backed by loans to companies.

Discussions with the European Commission and the European Investment Bank would focus on finding a way to package and guarantee such loans as a way to free up more lending, Draghi added.

The ECB president spoke Thursday after the bank cut its benchmark interest rate a quarter point to 0.50 percent to stimulate the recession-bound eurozone.


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