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Protesters clash with riot police at new ECB HQ opening

Thousands of anti-capitalist protesters from across the continent have clashed with police in Germany ahead of the official opening of the European Central Bank's new headquarters in Frankfurt.

Police cars have been set alight Credit: Reuters

More than 10,000 members of protest group Blockupy were expected to descend on the city, with reports of rocks being thrown at riot officers and police cars set on fire.

Blockupy states that it holds the Bank responsible for "austerity and poverty" in parts of Europe, and said it wanted to prevent staff from going to work as well as disrupting plans for the opening ceremony.

Blockupy says it holds the European Central Bank responsible for 'austerity and poverty' across the continent Credit: Reuters
Thousands of protesters have clashed with police Credit: Reuters


ECB 'committed' to providing liquidity despite vote

The European Central Bank (ECB) said it remains committed to providing liquidity despite Cypriot lawmakers overwhelmingly rejecting a levy on savers - a key term of the €10 billion proposed bailout.

The headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany. Credit: Arne Dedert/DPA/Press Association Images

"The ECB takes note of the decision of the Cypriot parliament and is in contact with its troika partners," the bank said in a statement. "The ECB reaffirms its commitment to provide liquidity as needed within the existing rules".

The central bank said it is in contact with the International Monetary Fund and its European Union partners on the issue.

European Central Bank executive issues boost to small firms and consumers

ECB Executive Board member, Benoit Coeure. Credit: Charles Platiau / Reuters

The European Central Bank should consider ways to ensure that the cash it lays out in its liquidity operations reaches smaller firms and consumers, executive board member Benoit Coeure said today.

Coeure told Slovakian newspaper Hospodarske Noviny in an interview that the ECB would not allow sovereign bond yields to rise due to investors betting against the euro.

"Whether our funding operations should be better targeted to the financing of the real economy, and particularly of SMEs, even though the implementation would obviously be difficult, would deserve further thoughts," Coeure said, according to a transcript provided by the ECB.