The Latest: Draghi says his legacy not dented by criticism

Red lights shine from the European Central Bank ahead of President Mario Draghi chairing his last ECB policy meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
President of European Central Bank Mario Draghi comes to a press conference after chairing his last policy meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

FRANKFURT, Germany — The Latest on the European Central Bank and Mario Draghi's last new conference as its president (all times local):

2:55 p.m.

As he winds up his eight-year term, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi says his legacy isn't dented by the unusual public criticism by some ECB officials of a key part the bank's last stimulus package.

Draghi said Thursday that criticism of the decision to purchase bonds with newly printed money was "part and parcel of the ongoing debate." He said "we have discussions, everybody has discussions."

Draghi spoke at his last news conference before former International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde takes over Nov. 1.

The bank left interest rates unchanged at Thursday's meeting, following announcement of a comprehensive stimulus package Sept. 12.

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1:50 p.m.

The European Central Bank has left unchanged its key interest rates and stuck to its previously announced stimulus programs as Mario Draghi wraps up eight years as president.

The bank said Thursday it was keeping the rate on overnight deposits from banks at minus 0.5%. That rate was trimmed from minus 0.4% in September, when the ECB also announced it would restart its bond-buying stimulus program, purchasing 20 billion euros ($22 billion) per month starting Nov. 1, indefinitely.

Thursday's meeting is the last as president for Draghi, who will later hold a news conference. He will hand over to former International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde on Nov. 1.

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6:00 a.m.

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi, whose vow to do "whatever it takes" is seen as a turning point in the eurozone's debt crisis, presides over his last policy meeting and news conference Thursday amid questions about unusually strong internal opposition to the latest stimulus package that will be part of his legacy.

Joining the meeting of the 25-member governing council as an observer will be Draghi's designated successor, former International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde, who takes office Nov. 1 after being chosen for the post by eurozone governments.

No changes in key interest rates or the bond-purchase program are expected at Thursday's meeting. The eurozone economy is slowing amid uncertainty over the U.S.-China trade dispute and the terms of Britain's eventual departure from the European Union.

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