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European Central Bank (ECB)

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European Central Bank (ECB)
On 1 January 1999, The ECB became the independent Central Bank of the Euro area on 1 January 1999.
    
ECB is responsible for creating and carrying out EU monetary policy, including the setting of Short-term Interest rates. The ECB also has the sole right to issue Euro bank Notes, and when doing so, it takes Inflation and Money Supply data of all member states into consideration.
    
The ECB was planned to be independent of individual national governments and the EU institutions. Furthermore, under the no 'bail-out' requirement, as laid down in the Maastricht Treaty, the ECB cannot assist Euro area countries in Debt matters, an obligation buttressed by the Convergence criteria and the Stability and Growth Pact, both of which constrain national borrowing.
    
An integral part of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), the bank is run by a Governing Council composed of an Executive Board of six members chosen by the participating member states and the governors of the national central banks. Central Bank governors of member states outside the Euro area have a largely advisory capacity in the ECB's General Council. In early 2004, France's Jean-Claude Trichet replaced Wim Duisenberg as the ECB's President.
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