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EU to move as quickly as possible to replace Lautenschlaeger on ECB board

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By Reuters
EU to move as quickly as possible to replace Lautenschlaeger on ECB board
FILE PHOTO: European Central Bank (ECB) executive board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger delivers her keynote speech during the annual regulatory conference of Austrian markets watchdog FMA in Vienna September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader   -   Copyright  Heinz-Peter Bader(Reuters)

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone finance ministers are set to move as quickly as possible in seeking a replacement for Sabine Lautenschlaeger on the European Central Bank board after her surprise resignation last week.

Ministers are due to begin the lengthy process next week in an effort to appoint Lautenschlaeger’s successor by January, EU officials said on Monday.

Lautenschlaeger, the German member of the six-strong ECB board, quit amid criticism of the latest stimulus measures adopted by the central bank.

Two EU officials said the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers will launch a call for candidates at a regular monthly meeting on Oct. 9, dispelling concerns that it would have taken more time to begin the process.

Ministers would then select their preferred candidate at November’s meeting, followed by a hearing in European parliament and formal appointment by EU leaders at a regular summit in December, officials said.

It is widely expected that Lautenschlaeger’s successor will be a German and face no competition for the post.

The euro zone’s three biggest economies – Germany, France and Italy – have traditionally had one representative each on the executive board.

Last week the Bank of Italy’s Deputy Governor Fabio Panetta was declared as the only candidate to replace the outgoing French ECB board member Benoit Coeure in January.

France’s Christine Lagarde will replace Italy’s Mario Draghi at the head of the ECB in November.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio and Jan Strupczewski; Editing by David Goodman)