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European Central Bank

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The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank of the European Union, controlling the new euro currency. The ECB forms along with the central banks of the Eurozone member-states the European System of Central Banks[?] (ESCB).

The ECB is known by different initials in different languages:

  • BCE: Banque Centrale Européenne, Banco Central Europeo, Banca Centrale Europea, Banco Central Europeu
  • ECB: European Central Bank, Europæiske Centralbank, Europese Centrale Bank, Europeiska Centralbanken
  • EZB: Europäische Zentralbank
  • ΕΚΤ: Ευρωπαικη Κεντρικη Τραπεζα
  • EKP: Euroopan Keskuspankki

The ECB is governed by a board of directors, headed by a President, and a board of governors, consisting of the members of the board of directors and representatives of the other central banks in the ESCB.

The organization of the ECB is modelled on that of the German Bundesbank[?] and Landsbanks[?].

The first head of the ECB is Wim Duisenberg, former president of Nederlandsche Bank[?] the Dutch national bank, and former finance minister of The Netherlands.

Goals and instruments

The main goal of the BCE is to keep inflation stable. Currently (2002), the target was to keep inflation below 2% in the eurozone. For keeping prices stable, the BCE may cut or raise rates.

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