Bloomberg News

ECB Vacancy Said to Go Unfilled for Month Due to Election

May 25, 2012

A vacancy on the European Central Bank will go unfilled for at least a month after France’s presidential election snarled high-level European appointments, two officials said.

Euro-area finance ministers won’t meet until June 21 to name a successor to Spain’s Jose Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo, who steps down from the ECB’s six-member Executive Board at the end of May.

At a meeting in March, the ministers deadlocked over two candidates: Luxembourg Central Bank Governor Yves Mersch and Spain’s Antonio Sainz de Vicuna, head of the ECB’s legal department. The appointment was part of a personnel package that the European Union then decided to put off until after France’s presidential election, won by Francois Hollande on May 6.

A decision on the ECB post at the finance ministers’ June meeting would require a formal rubber-stamp by the European Parliament, which wouldn’t come before July 2. A continued stalemate could leave the ECB board one person short until September, said the officials, who declined to be identified under EU policy.

“It’s a bit of a merry-go-round,” Francois Baroin, the finance minister in France’s previous government, said at the inconclusive March 30 meeting.

To contact the reporter on this story: James G. Neuger in Brussels at jneuger@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net


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