For its part, the ECB may remain in a holding pattern on interest rates for some time, barring a sudden financial disaster in Greece. The country's political leaders need to agree to tough austerity terms this week if Athens is to get more bailout loans in time to pay debts coming due March 20 and avoid default.
ECB president Mario Draghi is likely to face questions over whether the central bank will help find more money for the Greek bailout, now believed to be euro15 billion short of Greece's needs.
Eurozone officials have suggested that the bank find a way to donate potential profits it may make on euro55 billion ($72 billion) in Greek bonds it bought for around euro40 billion on the secondary market. It could do that by selling the bonds to the eurozone bailout fund for what it paid for them, and the fund could then write them down.
Some analysts say the ECB isn't in principle opposed to such a move, but is holding back to not appear to be taking instructions from governments — it is forbidden by the EU treaty to do that. Draghi turned aside questions about the issue at the bank's January meeting but will be pressed for a clearer statement this week.
Robert Barr and Pan Pylas in London contributed to this report.
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