Spain's economy minister and Central Bank chief in running for ECB role
Spain's Economy Minister has been officially put forward as a candidate to become vice-president of the European Central Bank (ECB).
The nomination pitches Luis de Guindos against Central Bank Governor Philip Lane who was named by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe last week.
ECB vice-president Vitor Constancio steps down in May after serving an eight-year term.
All nominations as his replacement for the coveted role must be submitted by today, February 7.
As it stands, the only candidates that have been put forward for the position are Professor Lane and de Guindos.
If Philip Lane gets the job, it will create a vacancy at the head of the Central Bank here.
Paschal Donohoe has said that Mr de Guindos' nomination did not come as a surprise.
"When we were making the decision to support Philip [Lane] I always acknowledged and expected that there would be other candidates, and was very much aware that Spain also had ambitions to be representing the ECB and that my good colleague Luis would likely be that candidate."
"What I will be doing is focusing exclusively on the qualities of Governor Lane, pointing to his track record and what he has achieved within the European Central Bank."
"In any competition there are always other countries or candidates that would be putting their best foot forward too, we will be doing the same, Philip is an excellent candidate."
"Now that the nominations have been closed today we will be continuing to put forward his qualities to all Member States who will have a vote in relation to it."