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ECB in mortgage rate pledge

THERE was some good news for Irish homeowners as European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi (right) pledged to keep interest rates low for as long as necessary to keep recovery on track.

"The Governing Council strongly emphasises that it will maintain an accommodative stance of monetary policy for as long as necessary," Mr Draghi told reporters in Frankfurt yesterday after the ECB kept its key rate at a record low of 0.25pc.

However, he remained cautious in claiming that Ireland's return to credit markets signalled that the economic crisis was over.

"The recovery is there, but it's weak, it's modest. And as I've said many times, it's fragile," Mr Draghi said.