The head of Germany’s Bundesbank, Axel Weber, will reportedly not be a candidate to succeed Jean-Claude Trichet as president of the European Central Bank.
Sources have told Reuters there would not be support for the hardline inflation-fighter’s candidature because of his strong public opposition last year to the ECB’s decision to buy the bonds of weak euro zone members to prevent the debt crisis worsening.
Trader Stefan Scharffetter at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange said: “Markets are more insecure because of this, they fear that as a result the ECB will continue its loose monetary policy. We have seen the attempts at political influence with the ECB in recent months, something that would not have been possible with Weber (as president).”
Weber was spoken of as the leading contender to replace Trichet when his term ends in October.
Weber’s chief rival for the post has long been seen to be Italian central bank head Mario Draghi: other possible candidates include Erkki Liikanen of Finland and Yves Mersch from Luxembourg.
The Bundesbank would not comment on the Reuters report about Weber. The German finance ministry also declined to comment.
A German government spokesman did confirm that Chancellor Angela Merkel did have what he called “a confidential” phone conversation with Weber on Wednesday morning.
Bundesbank sources told Reuters that Weber had indicated he was not interested in a second term at the Bundesbank. His term as head of Germany’s central bank runs until April 2012.