Belgium lands ECB board seat: government source

14th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Belgium's Peter Praet secured Monday the conclusive backing of eurozone finance ministers to join the European Central Bank's executive board, Belgian and EU sources told AFP.

Praet will replace Austria's Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell in a move that could have a bearing on the jockeying to succeed Frenchman Jean-Claude Trichet in October as the head of the world's most powerful central bank after the US Federal Reserve.

A source close to the Belgian government said it was "absolutely certain" that Praet would win the race for the coveted monetary policy-making job.

Shortly afterwards, a European Union source said the decision, being rubber-stamped by eurozone finance ministers at the start of monthly talks in Brussels that opened around 1330 GMT, was reached "unanimously."

Germany said Monday it may still present a new German candidate for the European Central Bank presidency after front-runner Axel Weber's dramatic resignation last week undid its well-laid plans.

Bundesbank head Weber threw in the towel for "personal reasons" less than seven weeks before Germany was due to officially endorse him for the post.

© 2011 AFP

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