The European Central Bank will keep monetary policy easy for as long as necessary in light of risks such as slower growth in emerging economies, its chief economist said in an interview with a Belgian newspaper. 

The ECB cut its deposit rate earlier this month.

It also extended its asset purchase programme in a bid to bring inflation in the euro zone, currently just above zero, back to its target of almost 2%. 

"The ECB will pursue an accommodative monetary policy for as long as is necessary. Without giving a date, this timescale is fairly long," Peter Praet, who is also a member of the bank's executive board, told La Libre Belgique. 

"Additional risks have arisen from the slowdown in the emerging countries, risks that are pretty significant for the euro area. There are also downward pressures on prices in the manufacturing sector as a result of surplus output and the very high unemployment level," he said. 

He added, however, that the ECB cannot act on its own and governments also need to do their part.

"People expect too much from the ECB, if other actors rein in their efforts whenever we take action," Praet said. "We are seeing less of an effort on the public finance side," he stated.

Meanwhile, ECB governing council member Vitas Vasiliauskas said today that was no need for further monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank as economic conditions in the euro zone are "quite good" already. 

"At the moment I don’t see the need for additional intervention," Vasiliauskas, who is also Lithuania's central bank governor, said. "In my opinion, the economic situation in Europe is quite good." 

He highlighted growth in lending to households and companies and a favourable euro exchange rate against the dollar as two positives for the euro zone's economic outlook.