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By Luke Heighton
     FRANKFURT (MNI) - The precise terms of new Targeted Longer-Term Refinancing
Operations "will depend on how the governing council assesses the banking
lending outlook," the European Central Bank's chief economist Peter Praet said
Wednesday.
     Praet acknowledged that several banks face a "cliff-edge" when existing
loans come due, and said it was important to "avoid creating potential new
cliffs in the future.
     "Monetary policy is working," he told an audience in Frankfurt, "but it has
faced repeated headwinds."
     The ECB's Governing Council was faced with a "delicate call" at its March
meeting, Praet said. "On the one hand, the economic expansion was clearly losing
steam and the sagging economy threatened to slow the pace at which inflation was
expected to climb back to our objective
     But he added: "Our monetary policy is bearing fruit, and we remain
confident that the labour cost pressures that have strengthened and broadened
amid high levels of capacity utilisation and tightening labour markets will
continue to support underlying inflation over the medium term."
--MNI Frankfurt Bureau; +49-69-720-146; email: luke.heighton@marketnews.com
--MNI London Bureau; +44 203 865 3829; email: jason.webb@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: M$E$$$,M$X$$$,M$$EC$]