Following are comments by European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet at a news conference held after the bank's Governing Council raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.50 percent on Thursday.
ECB SUSPENDS PORTUGUESE COLLATERAL REQUIREMENTS
We have decided to suspend the application of the minimum credit rating threshold in the collateral ... requirements for the purpose of Eurosystem credit operations.
In the case of marketable debt instruments issued and guaranteed by the Portuguese government, this suspension will be maintained until further notice.
And we took that decision taking into account the fact that the Portuguese government has approved an economic and financial adjustment program, which has been negotiated with the European Commission, ... with us and the International Monetary Fund. The Governing Council has assessed the program and considers it appropriate.
ASKED ABOUT ACCEPTING DEFAULTED BONDS FOR COLLATERAL
We say No to selective default or credit event.
ASKED ABOUT VIEW ON COMPULSORY PRIVATE SECOR CONTRIBUTION IN GREEK RESCUE:
The position of the Governing Council did not change and to my knowledge, the position of the euro group didn't change either.
NO PRE-COMMITMENT ON FUTURE RATE DECIONS
We have no pre-commitment and you will see what we do when the time comes. No other comment on future decisions.
Looking ahead, inflation rates are likely to stay clearly above in the coming months. Upward pressure on inflation, mainly from energy and commodity prices, is also still discernible in the earlier stages of the production process.
MONITOR VERY CLOSELY INFLATION RISKS
We will continue to monitor very closely all developments with respect to upside risks to price stability.
Interest rates across the entire maturity spectrum remain low; thus, our monetary policy stance remains accommodative.
LIQUIDITY REMAINS AMPLE
The further adjustment of the current accommodative monetary policy stance is warranted in the light of upside risks to price stability. The underlying pace of monetary expansion is continuing to gradually recover while monetary liquidity remains ample with a potential to accommodate price pressures in the euro area.
The provision of liquidity and the allotment modes for refinancing operations will be adjusted when appropriate, taking into account the fact that all the non-standard measures taken during the period of acute financial market tensions are, by construction, temporary in nature.
POLICY SUPPORTS ECONOMY, JOBS
Our monetary policy stance remains accommodative, lending support to economic activity and job creation.
While the underlying momentum of economic growth in the euro area continues to be positive, uncertainty remains elevated. (Reuters Treasury Desk +44 307 542 4441)