EU leaders mull European Central Bank leadership appointments

EU leaders mull European Central Bank leadership appointments

Today, EU finance ministers will meet to mull over a vice president of the ECB in what are the opening

European-central-bank

Photo: Bloomberg

Today, EU finance ministers will meet to mull over a vice president of the ECB in what are the opening manoeuvres for the bigger decision for EU leaders on a replacement for outgoing president, Mario Draghi. All votes are by qualified majority.

A win for the favourite, Spaniard Luis de Guindos, is a strong indication that a Northern European will get the top job.

Given that a German has never been president, the current head of Germany’s Central bank, Jans Weidmann, is the leading contender. Weidmann has long criticised Draghi’s policies of buying  government debt bonds as it induces Eurozone governments to run up debt rather than belt-tightening and structural reforms.

The main challenger is Frenchman, Francois Villeroy de Galhau, head of France’s central bank and a supporter of Draghi’s monetary stimulus policies.

However, Weidmann’s win is not assured. Southern Europeans bristle at the conventionalist German thinking as a threat to their recoveries and may choose someone like de Galhau as the anti-German candidate. Expect a lot of horse-trading to go on before the final decision is reached.

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