Responding to the complaints of Europe's sluggish economies, the European Central Bank cut interest rates Thursday in order to spark the Union’s slow growth. The bank, independent of any national bank or direct political influence, announced it was lowering its benchmark refinancing rate to 2.75 percent, the lowest level in more than three years. The ECB, based in Frankfurt, had kept the rate the same over the past year amid fears of high inflation for the 12 countries using the Euro. But with European economies, notably France and Germany, performing so poorly, the ECB cut the rate. The German Finance Ministry greeted the decision.