ECB in surprise interest rate cut

The European Central Bank on Thursday unexpectedly cut its prime interest rate by a quarter of a point to 1.25 percent, in an apparent attempt to bolster Europe’s economy amid the Greek debt crisis.

The decision to lower borrowing costs in the 17-member eurozone came as a surprise on the first day of the G20 summit in Cannes, France. The move comes just after Mario Draghi officially took over the helm of the ECB on Tuesday.

The financial markets had expected the ECB to leave rates unchanged, but Europe’s central bankers clearly felt the Greek government’s decision this week to call a referendum on an EU bailout package for the country had pushed the eurozone to the brink of economic disaster.

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