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The European Central Bank (ECB) chief economist Peter Praet said in an interview with the Portuguese newspaper Publico on Monday that the central bank could cut its interest rates further but it would depend on conditions.
"Interest rates are still in the tool box. The question is of course the conditions under which we would decide to use that instrument, because it is clear that the negative rates at some point have also side effects that start to become more important, namely on the profitability of banks," he said.
Praet noted that the ECB was independent.
"I don't think the Governing Council changes in any way its capacity to decide because of political debates. We do what we have to do as good central bankers," the ECB chief economist said.
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