4 May 2012

European central bank holds interest rates

1:31 pm on 4 May 2012

The European Central Bank has left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1%

Since the ECB last met in April, both Spain and Italy have fallen back into recession, raising concerns over the rationale of spending cuts.

ECB head Mario Draghi says governments must focus on growth, while also reducing deficits.

"We have to put growth back at the centre of the agenda," said Mr Draghi.

The bank has not moved rates since November but has pumped more than €1 trillion of loans into the European economy since January to boost the availability of credit.