Papademos backed for ECB vice-presidency

BRUSSELS – Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis yesterday presented the candidacy of Bank of Greece Governor Lucas Papademos for the post of vice-president of the European Central Bank (ECB) at the meeting of the European Council of Finance Ministers (Ecofin). The ECB vice-presidency is currently held by France’s Christian Noyer, whose four-year term expires on May 31. European Union sources consider Papademos as the front-runner for the post, especially after his Belgian colleague, Guy Quaden, declared himself out of the race. Belgium did field a candidate, Professor Paul de Grauwe, yesterday. However, his candidacy appears rather weak because Ecofin ministers are determined to appoint a central banker to the post and because de Grauwe has been prominent in the past as an opponent of the euro. Other possible candidates, such as that of Luxembourg’s central banker, Yves Mersch, may not become known until the weekend. A decision will probably be made by an informal Ecofin gathering in Oviedo, Spain, on April 12-14, unless a consensus is reached at the Barcelona interim summit on March 15-16. Christodoulakis told his colleagues in Ecofin that Papademos had detailed knowledge of the workings of the European Monetary Union and stressed his role in steering Greece toward membership in the eurozone. Papademos’s appointment, said Christodoulakis, would have a symbolic importance in a country that beat rather high odds to become a full EMU participant. Spanish Finance Minister Rodrigo Rato, Ecofin’s chairman for this term, also praised Papademos. «I think he is a very relevant person, not only from (the Greek domestic perspective) but also in European terms. He is a person of recognized standing,» Rato said when asked if Papademos was the right man for the job.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.