BoG chooses Garganas

Nicholas Garganas, the deputy governor of the Bank of Greece, is due to become governor of the central bank on June 1, taking over from Lucas Papademos who will be joining the European Central Bank next month as its vice president. Following a nomination from the outgoing governor and with the backing of the government, the general council of the Bank of Greece yesterday picked Garganas for the top spot over Panayiotis Thomopoulos, the other deputy governor. Observers said the bank’s decision to pick a central banker as a successor to Papademos underscores continuity and stability in the institution. They do not foresee any changes in the bank’s policy under the new governor. «With his experience and background, Garganas will no doubt be a successful governor,» said Platon Monokroussos, economist at EFG Eurobank Ergasias. Garganas, 65, joined the Bank of Greece as a senior economist in 1975. He became a director at the economic research department in 1984 and was appointed deputy governor in September 1996. He joined the bank’s monetary policy council in February 1998, which played a crucial role in helping Greece gain admission to the eurozone in 2001. The council’s hard drachma policy and anti-inflationary stand brought inflation down to single digits. Its strategy enabled the government to slash the fiscal deficit and set a downward course for the large debt-to-GDP ratio. Garganas is the alternate governor of the International Monetary Fund for Greece and a member of the economic and financial committee of the European Union. The Bank of Greece also promoted Nicholas Palaiocrassas, a member of the general council and the monetary policy council, to the post of deputy governor. Thomopoulos remains as deputy governor.

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