PRESS RELEASE

Interest rates in the European Monetary Union

3 December 1998

All National Central Banks participating in the single monetary policy as from the start of Stage Three lower their key central bank rate today in a co-ordinated decision. These decisions reflect a thorough discussion in the ECB's Governing Council leading to a consensus on the basis of a common assessment of the economic, monetary and financial situation in the euro area.

The joint reduction in interest rates has to be seen as a de facto decision on the level of interest rates with which the ESCB will start Stage Three of Monetary Union and which it intends to maintain for the foreseeable future.

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