Germany's Weber silent on ECB candidacy

10th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

German central bank chief Axel Weber refused to comment Thursday on whether he has dropped out of the race to become the European Central Bank's next president.

"I have spoken with the German Chancellor (Angela Merkel)," Weber told reporters on the sidelines of a banking conference in the Austrian capital.

"I promised her that I would not make any comment on the matter until we've both met and talked again. We will take all the necessary decisions in close consultation. There is nothing more to say on the matter."

Recent media reports have suggested that Weber has thrown in the towel to replace Frenchman Jean-Claude Trichet as head of the ECB when the latter steps late this year.

Several newspapers have said that Weber, a leading candidate to become the next head of the world's second most powerful central bank, decided to drop out of the race because of a lack of clear support from the German government.

The mass-circulation German daily quoted Weber as saying: "I do not want to become a political toy" or the object of "a horse trade."

Those remarks apparently caught Merkel and her government by surprise.

Newspapers said Merkel dissuaded Weber from officially announcing his decision Wednesday to gain time to organise his replacement.

Weber is known for his brusque manner and has irritated European Union leaders with outspoken opposition to ECB purchases of eurozone government debt -- an unconventional tool used to help weaker eurozone member states.

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article