LIVE: ECB chief Mario Draghi is taking questions at the European Parliament

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi is currently at the European Parliament, testifying to and taking questions from the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Since the Federal Reserve’s decision not to hike interest rates in its September meeting, analysts have been wondering whether the ECB will be pushed to increase its quantitative easing programme.

We’ve already heard his testimony, and now the questions are coming from MEPs.

We’ll keep you updated as they come.

Here are some of the highlights from his opening remarks:

During the summer break, our Union faced exceptional challenges. First, there was the long and complicated discussion on the new adjustment programme for Greece. And now, in an area very much outside the ECB’s competence, there is the challenge of harbouring a large number of refugees that had to leave their homes behind. Both these events — although very different in nature — have shown again that Europe can only be strong if it acts in unity on the basis of solidarity and cooperation. This is a lesson we should draw also for the challenges to come…

Slowing growth in emerging market economies, a stronger euro and the fall in oil prices and in commodity prices more generally are the main causes for these developments. As a result, renewed downside risks to the outlook for growth and inflation have emerged. For many of these changes, it is too early to judge with sufficient confidence whether they will cause lasting slippage from the trajectory that we initially expected inflation to follow when we decided to expand our asset purchase programme in January…

I would also like to say a few words about Greece. During the last hearing in June, I called for a comprehensive and fair agreement with Greece. In the following weeks, coming to such an agreement was very difficult and necessitated tremendous efforts from all those involved. But I am grateful that in the end, an agreement was reached. If it is completely implemented, the new programme will put Greece in a position to grow again and to reap the full benefits of participating in our common currency…

The negotiations over the summer revealed again the fact that our institutional framework is still not commensurate with the requirements of sharing one currency. In the Five Presidents’ Report that we published shortly after the last hearing, the five authors shared one common conviction, namely that to make monetary union stable and prosperous, a more complete union is necessary. But we did not only outline this common conviction; we also presented a concrete roadmap showing how to attain this objective. This roadmap should now guide our discussions in the months to come.

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