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BERLIN, March 9 (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Thursday he was in favour of a "timely start to the exit" from the European Central Bank's loose monetary policy, as the central bank gathered for a policy meeting.
Speaking at an event of regional banks in Berlin, Schaeuble called for more international tough rules for big banks, adding that the U.S. government shared the German view that there should be some easing of the burden for smaller banks.
The ECB is on Thursday expected to resist calls to tighten policy as it casts a cautious eye ahead to high-risk elections in the Netherlands and France during an upsurge in populist, anti-establishment sentiment. (Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Madeline Chambers)