ECB says chief economist Juergen Stark to resign

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The European Central Bank announced Friday that its chief economist, Juergen Stark, is to resign "for personal reasons" before the end of his term of office in May 2014.

Stark, 63, "will stay on in his current position until a successor is appointed, which, according to the appointment procedure, will be by the end of this year," the ECB said in a statement.

Stark, who joined the ECB's executive board in June 2006, has been critical of the bank's controversial bond-buying programme, but the statement made no mention of those differences.

"Having been informed by Juergen Stark of his decision to resign for personal reasons, President Jean-Claude Trichet thanks him wholeheartedly for his outstanding contribution to European unity over many years," it said.

"Having worked with Juergen Stark for almost 20 years, he expresses particular gratitude for his exceptional and unwavering dedication as a member of the executive board and governing council for more than five years."

© 2011 AFP

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