No special help for Greece as eurozone rates are held again

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Jean-Claude Trichet, the president of the European Central Bank, warned yesterday that the outlook for the economy in the Eurozone remained "uncertain" and added that Greece would not get any special treatment to deal with its fiscal problems.

He was speaking as the ECB announced that eurozone rates would remain on hold at a historic 1 per cent for the eighth consecutive month. Mr Trichet indicated that they were unlikely to rise soon.

His warning follows grim figures from Germany suggesting that the country's economic recovery stalled in the fourth quarter.

The government of Greece's Prime Minister, George Papandreou, approved a plan to push that country's deficit below the European Union's budget limit in 2012.

But yesterday Greece's bonds continued their decline after Mr Trichet said in Frankfurt that "no government, no state can expect special treatment" to deal with its problems.

Rates in Britain were also held at 0.5 per cent. Economists believe the UK is out of recession.