Donohoe pulls bank boss out of running for ECB

Image Sam Boal

Image Sam Boal

The pick of Economy Minister De Guindos, a eurozone veteran, is the first of a series of changes at the ECB over the coming two years, including the post of the chief of the bank now held by Italian Mario Draghi.

Weidemann was followed by Governor of the Bank of France Fran├žois Villeroy de Galhau with 26 and Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland Philip Lane with 23 points.

The successful candidate was Luis de Guindos, Spain's current minister for the economy.

But judging by his record in bailout-rescued Spain, it's likely de Guindos' political experience will colour his approach to the new job, and as of now his selection seems all but guaranteed.

He added: "I also wish to reiterate my appreciation to Professor Philip Lane for putting himself forward as a candidate, whose ability and expertise was widely praised throughout the process".

Jens Weidmann, governor of the German Bundesbank, looks the most likely to be elected as head of the European Central Bank next year.

De Guindos is a politician's politician - at turns charming and outspoken, while also a dispenser of bon mots at worldwide gatherings.

After listening to both candidates, MEPs from the economic and monetary affairs committee (Econ) found that Lane's performance was "more convincing".

De Guindos, who will step down as minister if confirmed, stressed earlier this month that he has always defended the independence of the European Central Bank and "would continue to do it if I am selected".

That decision will be taken on March 22 at an EU summit after consultations with the European Parliament and the ECB's Governing Council.

Spain, the eurozone's fourth-largest economy, has not had a representative on the executive board of the European Central Bank since Jose Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo's term ended in 2012.

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