Juncker backs French woman to head new bank supervisor
The head of the European Union's new banking regulator should be a woman and in this first instance, come from France, outgoing eurozone head Jean-Claude Juncker said Thursday.
Responding in parliament to a question about the lack of appointments of women to senior EU levels, Juncker said: "I am totally in favour of women's representation," adding, without giving any names, that in the case of the new Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) "she will be French."
Diplomatic sources have mentioned the name of Daniele Nouy, a senior official at the Bank of France, as the new head of the SSM. She would get the post in return for Paris agreeing to Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem taking over from Juncker, they say.
France had at one stage wanted Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici to head the eurogroup but Juncker's remarks suggest an arrangement has now been reached to allow his successor to be named when EU finance ministers meet January 21-22.
Due officially to stand down on July 17 last year, Juncker was persuaded to stay on due to the absence of a candidate acceptable to both France and Germany, the two biggest eurozone countries.
Juncker has headed the eurogroup since it was formed in 2005, having to steer the now 17-nation eurozone through three tumultuous years, with the debt crisis forcing massive bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
Dijsselbloem, 46, was named finance minister in the new Dutch government formed in November and enjoys a solid reputation.
The SSM is a key element in efforts to stabilise the EU's banking system by preventing banks from becoming so over-extended that their governments risk bankruptcy themselves in the effort to save the lenders from collapse.
The European Central Bank will in turn have oversight of the SSM, to bring all regulatory functions for the banking sector under one roof.
© 2013 AFP