German minister favours Draghi for ECB job: Lagarde

6th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble supports Italian Mario Draghi to be the next head of the European Central Bank, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said here on Friday.

This has not been confirmed from Berlin.

"I confirm that, one, the (French) president (Nicolas Sarkozy) publicly gave his support to Mario Draghi when we were ... in Rome," Lagarde told broadcasters I-Tele and Radio Classique.

"That, two, my colleague Wolfgang Schauble is favourable towards this nomination and considers that he (Draghi) has all of the qualities needed to be a good president of the ECB."

Until now, people close to Schauble have not concealed that he would prefer Draghi, the head of the Italian central bank, to be the next head of the eurozone central bank.

He would succeed Frenchman Jean-Claude Trichet whose appointment ends at the end of October, but this has never been said officially.

But an article in the German magazine Der Spiegel, to be published Monday, and which does not give sources, says that German Chancellor Angela Merkel does not want to see Draghi appointed to the post, preferring instead that Draghi replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn as the head of the International Monetary Fund.

Strauss-Kahn is a potential candidate for the Socialists in a French presidential election next year, in which Sarkozy is expected to be a candidate as well.

The one-time front runner for the ECB job, Axel Weber, who heads the German central Bundesbank, said in February that he was not a candidate.

© 2011 AFP

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