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Luxembourg’s Frieden Says Gaston Reinesch Could Take Mersch Post

July 10, 2012

Luxembourg Finance Minister Luc Frieden said one of his ministry officials could replace central bank President Yves Mersch, who was yesterday named to the European Central Bank’s Executive Board.

Gaston Reinesch, director general at the Luxembourg finance ministry, would be “a good candidate” to head the country’s central bank, Frieden told reporters in Brussels today. The final decision will be taken by the government, which hasn’t discussed the appointment yet.

“We have good people in Luxembourg that could fill this post and I could well imagine a person such as Gaston Reinesch in it,” said Frieden after a meeting of European Union finance ministers. “Mr Reinesch is experienced in European and national affairs, which would qualify him for such a post.”

Mersch, Europe’s longest-serving central banker, will take the position vacated by Spain’s Jose Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo on the Frankfurt-based ECB’s six-member board. Mersch defeated a Spanish nominee, Antonio Sainz de Vicuna, head of legal services at the ECB, as well as Mitja Gaspari, former head of Slovenia’s central bank.

Mersch will start in Frankfurt in September or October at the earliest and by then a successor will have been found, said Frieden. Mersch got the endorsement of the 27 EU finance ministers today. He still needs final confirmation from euro- area leaders after a European Parliament hearing and a non- binding vote before he can start an eight-year term.

“Luxembourg has many good people and it won’t be very complicated to find someone good to take over as head of the central bank,” said Frieden.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Brussels at

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