Tuesday 18 December 2018

Government withdraws Professor Philip Lane from ECB job contest

Central Bank Governor Philip Lane
Central Bank Governor Philip Lane
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

The Irish government has withdrawn Philip Lane from the contest to name a new vice president of the European Central Bank.

It clears the way for Spain’s Luis de Guindos to get the job without a formal vote of Euro area finance ministers. The Irish Central Bank governor was the only other candidate.

Speaking in Brussels on Monday, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe confirmed the decision to quit the race in order for a single name to go forward.

“I believe that it is crucial that the election of a new vice-president for the ECB is based on consensus, and should not be a source for any disagreement.  In that context, I have decided that, on balance, it would be in the interests of the Euro-area as a whole to withdraw Philip’s candidacy in advance of any vote.

Minister Donohoe said he had bee: “very pleased to nominate the governor of our Central Bank, Professor Philip Lane, earlier this month for the position”. 

The Irish move is thought to be aimed a boosting Prof Lane’s support if he is nominated as ECB chief economist next year.

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