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Draghi's ECB faces tough test in euro crisis

The president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, will be under the spotlight on Thursday at the bank's monthly meeting in Frankfurt. He's expected to unveil new measures to combat the eurozone debt crisis.

Comments Draghi made last week that the ECB would protect the euro have raised expectations over the outcome of Thursday's crucial meeting.

Exchange markets will be looking to the ECB for indications that relief is on the way in the debt crisis among the eurozone's 17 members.

Draghi promised last Thursday that the bank would "do whatever it takes" to save the currency, prompting speculation that the bank may start buying government bonds once again.

As expected, there was no movement at the start of Thursday's meeting regarding the interest rate the ECB charges banks for loans. It remains at 0.75 percent.

Borrowing rates for governments, however, are high in some cases, such as Greece, Spain and Italy. Draghi may reinstate the controversial ECB policy of buying government bonds in an effort to lower rates in such countries to allow the low ECB borrowing rate to take hold across the eurozone.

European shares were trading flat on Thursday, as investors may be waiting to hear what Draghi has to say.

mz/ccp (Reuters, AP, AFP)