The European Central Bank is set to join the U.S. Federal Reserve in making a jumbo interest rate hike Thursday

although it risks worsening a recession that economists say is bearing down on Europe.

The meeting of the bank's governing council is not about whether to raise rates for the 19 countries

The bank made its first increase in 11 years at its last meeting in July

raising rates by a half-point when it usually changes by only a quarter-point.

Inflation is far above the bank's goal of 2% considered healthiest for the economy.

The ECB, which once predicted no rate increases at all this year

has torn up its road map in the face of record inflation of 9.1% last month,

The price of natural gas — used to generate electricity, heat homes and run factories 

 European politicians call it blackmail over their support for Kyiv.