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ECB Chief Asks Gov'ts to Help Growth   11/22 06:18

   FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- The new president of the European Central Bank, 
Christine Lagarde, says better-targeted public spending would help support 
economic growth in the eurozone.

   In her first official speech Friday, Lagarde indirectly chided countries 
like Germany that have kept a tight grip on their budgets while making clear 
that a spendthrift approach to public spending would be hazardous, too.

   Lagarde said "there is today a cross-cutting case for investment in a common 
future that is more productive, more digital and certainly greener" and warned 
that public spending in the 19-country eurozone "remains some way below its 
pre-crisis level."

   She also said the ECB will begin a strategic review of its monetary policy 
"in the near future" but the bank would also "continuously monitor the side 
effects" of its current low-interest stance.


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