Jerome Hughes

Press TV, Brussels

The European Central Bank has confirmed its intention to hike interest rates at the policy meeting next month. The move is aimed at bringing down soaring prices across the eurozone.

There was no sign of pressure on the faces of those who run the European Central Bank when they met on Thursday to agree on what is seen as bad news for hard-pressed mortgage holders across the 19-nation eurozone.

Interest rates will go up by 0.25% next month, most likely 0.50% in September, and that’s not where it will end.

The ECB manages the euro. It will be the bank’s first interest rate hike in 11 years. The idea is to bring down inflation.

It’s now at a record high of 8.1% when the ECB’s target is just below 2%. Rising energy, food, and accommodation prices are hitting EU citizens hard.

The EU mainly blames Moscow for the financial crisis because of the conflict in Ukraine. The bloc’s justice ministers also met on Thursday to figure out a way of seizing the assets of Russian citizens without the need for a conviction in court.

Off the back of sanctions against Russia, the EU’s economy is on its knees. Critics say Western powers were wrong not to listen to Moscow’s security concerns as they built up military capabilities close to Russia’s borders and refused to rule out Ukraine joining NATO.

ECB bosses are due to meet again to discuss the financial crisis on the 21st of July. Many are asking, if the EU’s focus stays on arming Ukraine and not conflict resolution, how can things possibly improve between now and then?



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