Italy's Bini Smaghi ECB seat to go to France: Merkel
Italy's Lorenzo Bini Smaghi will stand down from the board of the European Central Bank, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday, resolving a dispute over French claims for a seat when Italian Mario Draghi takes the ECB helm.
EU leaders earlier Friday appointed Draghi the next president of the ECB, taking over from Frenchman Jean-Claude Trichet.
Draghi's nomination was supposed to have been announced Thursday but was held up as France insisted that it get a place on the ECB board in return.
France demanded that Bini Smaghi make way for one of its officials but Bini Smaghi had refused to move, arguing that the ECB is supposed to be independent and free of all political influence.
© 2011 AFP