Business World

Saturday 24 February 2018

Draghi welcomed as next head of the ECB


Fionnan Sheahan and Sarah Collins

European Affairs Minister Lucinda Creighton yesterday welcomed the delayed appointment of Italy's Mario Draghi as the new president of the European Central Bank.

The ECB continues to play a pivotal role in Ireland's economic recovery as one of the institutions monitoring the progress of the bailout, along with the IMF and European Commission.

The ECB also controls the rolling short-terms loans to Irish banks to replace funds that have been withdrawn and provide them with liquidity.


Moreover, the ECB is central to the management of the escalating EU debt crisis and is responsible for setting interest rates across the eurozone.

Mr Draghi's appointment was confirmed by EU leaders at a summit in Brussels.

The appointment was stalled because Italy's ECB board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi had refused to resign.

France wanted his place on the six-member board to replace current ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet.

Mr Bini Smaghi's forced resignation was confirmed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, paving the way for Mr Draghi to take over from Mr Trichet later in the year.

Ms Creighton said the Government welcomed the appointment and had no concerns about Mr Draghi.

"We welcome it. I think the Taoiseach was clear in supporting Mr Draghi's appointment yesterday. We don't have any concerns. There was a slight issue, I think, in relation to, shall we say, geographical balance, but that seems to have been resolved today," she said.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny would not be drawn on whether he anticipated a change in ECB policy when Mr Draghi takes over. "Well I'll be happy to hear his comments when he takes up his position," he said.

Bank of Italy Governor Mario Draghi (left) talks with current president of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet. European Union leaders yesterday formally appointed Mr Draghi to be the next president of the ECB. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Irish Independent

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