ECB job gets entangled with IMF post

8th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

8 March 2004, BRUSSELS - European Union plans to appoint a new member of the European Central Bank (ECB) board have become entangled with the appointment of a European to replace Horst Koehler as head the International Monetary Fund, EU diplomats said Monday. EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels on Tuesday were expected to select an ECB board member to replace Spain's Eugenio Domingo Solans who is due to step down at the end of May. Candidates for the post include Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo, a professor an

8 March 2004

BRUSSELS - European Union plans to appoint a new member of the European Central Bank (ECB) board have become entangled with the appointment of a European to replace Horst Koehler as head the International Monetary Fund, EU diplomats said Monday.

EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels on Tuesday were expected to select an ECB board member to replace Spain's Eugenio Domingo Solans who is due to step down at the end of May.

Candidates for the post include Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo, a professor and member of the Bank of Spain's governing board, Belgium's Peter Praet, a board member of the Belgian Central Bank and Ireland's Michael Tutty, vice-president of the European Investment Bank.

Gonzalez-Paramo was long seen as the front-runner for the post, winning the backing of Germany, France and Italy for the job.

But diplomats said a decision on his appointment was likely to be delayed while EU governments mulled over their choice of candidate for the even more prestigious post of head of the Washington-based IMF, a job which has traditionally gone to a European.

If EU governments select Spanish economy minister Rodrigo Rato for the IMF job, diplomats said it was very unlikely that Gonzalez-Paramo would get the ECB post.

"It is unlikely that candidates for the two jobs would come from the same country," said an EU diplomat, adding: "This is complicating discussions."

Also in the running for the IMF job following the surprise decision by Horst Koehler, the former head of the agency to run as candidate for the post of German President, are Jean Lemierre, chief of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Briton Andrew Crockett, a former head of the Bank for International Settlements.

British newspapers have suggested that British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown is also interested in the IMF job, claims not denied by the Treasury.

Candidates for the two jobs are also expected to be discussed by finance ministers of the 12 eurogroup countries meeting in Brussels later on Monday.

 DPA
Subject: German news

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