Bloomberg News

Schaeuble Says Germany Wants Asmussen to Take Stark’s ECB Role

November 29, 2011

Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Germany wants to keep the role of European Central Bank chief economist when Joerg Asmussen replaces Juergen Stark on the bank’s Executive Board, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said.

Asmussen is an “outstanding economist” and Germany believes “he is the best person for the position occupied by Juergen Stark,” Schaeuble told reporters after arriving in Brussels today to meet with his euro-area counterparts. Stark will step down at the end of the year.

Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper reported today that France may field a candidate for the ECB chief economist post, challenging the assumption that it will go to Asmussen, who is currently German Deputy Finance Minister. France may nominate Benoit Coeure, chief economist of his country’s Finance Ministry, for the job, the newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information.

France has already nominated Coeure for the position on the ECB board being made vacant by Italy’s Lorenzo Bini Smaghi. A German has held the post of ECB chief economist since the bank’s founding in 1998. Stark and his predecessor, Otmar Issing, both came from Germany’s Bundesbank.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rainer Buergin in Berlin at rbuergin1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brockett at mbrockett1@bloomberg.net


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