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Merkel's backing confirms Draghi for ECB presidency


Merkel's backing confirms Draghi for ECB presidency


The last major obstacle has been removed to Italy’s Mario Draghi becoming the next president of the European Central Bank.

A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed she will back Draghi to succeed France’s Jean-Claude Trichet when his eight-year term expires at the end of October.

Italy’s Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti said Draghi will be proposed formally at a meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Monday.

A final decision is expected in June. No other candidate has been formally proposed.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy threw his weight behind the Bank of Italy chief late last month.

Draghi became favourite to succeed Trichet after the previous front-runner, Germany’s Axel Weber, said in February he was quitting as Bundesbank chief and would not seek the ECB job.

A former economics professor who has taught at Harvard and worked at the World Bank as well as with Goldman Sachs, Draghi is also at the centre of efforts to overhaul the global banking system as head of the Financial Stability Board.

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