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PRESS RELEASE

Allotment amount of the longer-term refinancing operations in the year 2006

16 December 2005

The Governing Council of the European Central Bank has decided to increase the allotment amount for each of the longer-term refinancing operations (LTROs) to be conducted in the year 2006 from EUR 30 billion to EUR 40 billion.

This increased amount takes two aspects into consideration. First, the liquidity needs of the euro area banking system are expected to increase further in the year 2006. Second, the Eurosystem has decided to increase slightly the share of the liquidity needs satisfied by the LTROs. The Eurosystem will, however, continue to provide the bulk of liquidity through its main refinancing operations.

The Governing Council may decide to adjust the allotment amount again at the beginning of 2007.

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