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Bini Smaghi's resignation ends ECB row

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Bini Smaghi's resignation ends ECB row

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Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, the Italian on the European Central Bank executive board is quitting to go and teach at Harvard University in the United States.

After another Italian, Mario Draghi, replaced Jean Claude Trichet as head of the ECB, President Nicolas Sarkozy complained there was no French member on the board while Italy had two.

Bini Smaghi’s resignation defuses a row between Paris and Rome.

Reportedly Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had told Sarkozy that Bini Smaghi would step down in order to get French backing for Draghi, but had not cleared that with the Italian economist first.