ECB hikes rates by half a percentage point in first hike since 2011

FRANKFURT — The European Central Bank raised interest rates half a percentage point higher than expected and unveiled a new plan to buy up the debt of Europe’s most vulnerable economies, seeking to protect the union. monetary policy as it faces the twin threats of runaway inflation and slowing economic growth.

The move brings the key ECB interest rate down to zero, ending the bloc’s eight-year experiment with negative interest rates and capping two weeks of drama for Europe, which saw Russia cut then restart the supply of vital natural gas, as well as the collapse of Italian government.


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