ECB actions to boost eurozone economy

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Frankfurt (AFP)

Here are the main actions taken Thursday by the European Central Bank kickstart the chronically weak eurozone economy.

- The ECB lowered the main rate at which it lends to commercial banks -- the so-called refi rate -- to zero for the first time ever from 0.05 percent.

- It pushed the interest rate on its deposit facility for commercial banks to -0.40 percent from -0.30 percent. This means commercial banks in fact pay the ECB if they choose to transfer their excess funds at the end of the day.

- The ECB increased the amount of its monthly debt purchases -- which have so far been mostly eurozone government bonds -- to 80 billion euros per month from 60 billion euros.

- The ECB said it would also start buying up corporate debt as part its monthly purchases.

- Commercial banks will be offered another series of loans at ultra-low interest rates to ensure they have enough funds to lend to businesses.